Canadian Hydro wind turbines near Shelburne, Ont.

Company says the facility will be the largest offshore operation in the world when complete

The Globe and Mail:The Canadian Press - September 28, 2009

Even as it juggles multiple takeover offers, green energy producer Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. (KHD-T5.10-0.05-0.97%) announced plans Monday to acquire what it says will be the largest offshore wind operation in the world.

The 4,000-megawatt offshore wind prospect in Ontario will be acquired from U.S-based Wasatch Wind Inc. Financial details weren't disclosed.

When complete it will be able to supply enough renewable energy to power over two million homes.

Canadian Hydro anticipates the prospect will be built in stages with the first phase coming online by the fourth quarter of 2014.

“This is a tremendous growth opportunity for our company and our shareholders, and a perfect fit with our long-term strategy and position as a market leader in Canada,” said Kevin Brown, Canadian Hydro's chief executive officer.

“We are eager to pioneer offshore wind in Ontario and North America.”

Canadian Hydro is currently locked in a take over battle which has TransAlta Corp. (TA-T21.750.241.12%) making multiple hostile bids for the company, the latest valued at $654-million in July.

Canadian Hydro has said it is entertaining multiple alternative offers which emerged weeks after it opened its data room to potential buyers. It has not identified the potential white knight suitors.

Established in 1989, Canadian Hydro owns and operates 21 hydro, wind, gas fired and other generation plants across the country.

Wasatch Wind is a Utah-based wind project developer with activities throughout the western U.S. and Ontario.

The wind prospect to be acquired is located between five to 30 kilometres offshore in one of the Great Lakes bordering Ontario, although Canadian Hydro didn't identify the lake.

Multiple regulatory and environmental approvals will be required from the Ministry of Natural Resources before construction can proceed.

Canadian Hydro shares closed at $5.15 Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.