January 22, 2009 / 6:51 PM / 9 years ago

Canadian Hydro gets federal funding for wind farm

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Hydro Developers Inc said on Thursday it will receive about C$59 million ($47 million) in government funding for its C$450 million, wind farm being constructed on Wolfe Island in eastern Ontario.

The Calgary-based company will receive an incentive over the next 10 years of about C$5.9 million annually, under its agreement with Canada’s renewable power funding program.

“It is an integral incentive. It’s important because at the present time there is no cap and trade or formal emissions trading program giving recognition to the green nature of the electricity supply here,” Chief Executive John Keating said in an interview.

“Conversely, there is no accountability yet for the emissions that are being dumped into our atmosphere by other sources. And so it’s part of a leveling of the playing field.”

The 86-turbine, 198 megawatt wind farm is expected to begin commercial production on March 31.

“We’ve seen a delay of approximately a year in getting all permits in place to get this project started but we went into full construction in the spring,” Keating said.

“The Wolfe Island wind project will be of similar size, a little smaller, than our Melancthon project. But the two of them combined will more than double Canadian Hydro’s revenue base and capacity to go forward.”

The Melancthon wind farm north of Toronto is the country’s largest such installation.

The company, which owns and operates 20 renewable power generation facilities in Canada, has water, wind and biomass projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

“As the market for alternative energy grows, we expect Canadian Hydro will continue to have a significant presence in the industry,” said Haywood Securities analyst Tania Maciver in a research note on Thursday.

Canada’s C$1.48 billion renewable power program targets production of up to 4,000 MW of new electricity from renewable sources, enough to power about one million homes.

Shares in Canadian Hydro dipped 5 Canadian cents to C$3.20 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson

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