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Calgary, Alberta-based Hydro Developers Inc. (Canadian Hydro), through its wholly owned subsidiary, Canadian Renewable Energy Corp., has announced an update on the environmental screening process (ESP) for the Wolfe Island Wind Project.

The Ontario Minister of Tourism, on behalf of the Ontario Minister of the Environment, confirmed the decision by the director of the environmental assessment and approvals branch of the Ministry of Environment that an individual environmental assessment and mediation are not required for the project. Based on this final determination by the minister of tourism, the required statement of completion will be submitted, clearing the way for Canadian Hydro to proceed with construction, subject to any other permits and approvals required.

Based on the successful completion of the ESP, Canadian Hydro confirms the expected financial return on the project is unchanged from the company's original plan. This is due to an improved long-term wind energy estimate of more than 10%, to 593,500 MWh per year from the original plan of 537,000 MWh per year, which is offset partially by a revision of the construction cost to $450 million from $410 million, an increase of less than 10%, and a change in the commercial operation date from Oct. 31, 2008, to March 31, 2009. The new in-service date for the project is expected to have no impact on the company's 20-year renewable energy supply II contract with the Ontario Power Authority.

"This approval is a culmination of the comprehensive work undertaken by Canadian Hydro with input received from various stakeholders every step of the way," says John Keating, CEO of Canadian Hydro. "We have demonstrated respect for the needs of the environment and the interests of diverse stakeholders. We are working diligently to develop a responsible, sustainable wind plant on Wolfe Island that will deliver many benefits to the community and province and look forward to the start of construction."

SOURCE: Hydro Developers Inc.

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