Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund Reports Strong First Quarter 2009 Results



    STOCK SYMBOL: GLH.UN/TSX

    Recent acquisitions contribute to increase in generation, revenues and
    income before non-cash items

    GATINEAU, QC, May 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund (the
"Fund") today reported its financial and operating results for the first
quarter ended March 31, 2009. The Fund provides additional information on its
strategy and results in its Letter to Unitholders and Supplemental Information
available at www.greatlakeshydro.com under Investor Relations/Financial
Highlights.
    First quarter revenues of $58.0 million and income before non-cash items
of $29.7 million increased by 13% and 10% respectively, from the same period a
year earlier. Generation for the first quarter of 2009 was 1,163 gigawatt
hours (GWh) as compared with 1,161 GWh during the same period last year and a
long-term average of 1,051 GWh.
    Generation from hydroelectricity in the quarter was 1,081 GWh, a decrease
of 7% as compared to the exceptionally strong first quarter last year but
still 11% above long-term average. Hydroelectric generation in Québec and New
England remained strong while Ontario and British Columbia were lower compared
to last year. Revenues from New England also benefited from the appreciation
of the U.S. dollar relative to the Canadian dollar.
    In February 2009, the Fund acquired Prince Wind farm and a 50% joint
venture interest in the Pingston Hydro station. Prince Wind delivered
generation of 82 GWh and revenues of $7.6 million since its acquisition. As
expected, Pingston Hydro did not contribute materially to results in the first
quarter as it operates predominantly during the summer.
    First quarter distributions to unitholders totaled $16.2 million or 31
cents per unit as compared to $15.1 million or 31 cents per unit in the first
quarter of 2008. Total distributions increased as a result of the additional
units issued in January 2009.

    
    FINANCIAL AND OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Three months ended
    Unaudited                                                       March 31
    CDN $ millions, except otherwise noted                    2009      2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenues                                               $  58.0   $  51.2
    Income before non-cash items                              29.7      26.9
    Distribution                                              16.2      15.1
    Per unit
      Income before non-cash items                            0.56      0.56
      Distribution                                            0.31      0.31
    Power generated (GWh)                                    1,163     1,161
    Average price (cents/KWh)                                 49.9      44.1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Our new assets have provided the Fund with greater geographic, resource
and cash flow diversification and will be instrumental in mitigating the
impact of taxation on the Fund starting in 2011," said Richard Legault,
President and CEO. "With highly desirable power assets, long-duration stable
cash flows and a strong financial position, we are very well positioned in the
current environment and remain focused on operational excellence and growing
our renewable power portfolio."
    In the first quarter of 2009, the Fund invested $4.7 million in capital
expenditures and $0.5 million in major maintenance. In Québec, the overhaul of
the last of the three 25 MW generating units at the High Falls generating
station on the Lièvre River was completed in February 2009. In Ontario, work
was ongoing on the refurbishment and rewind of the second unit at the Aubrey
Falls generating station. Spending on this project totaled $3.1 million during
the first quarter of 2009 with an additional $3.0 million expected in 2009.
The Fund currently expects to invest a total of $17.3 million in capital
expenditures and $5.3 million in major maintenance during 2009.
    The refinancing of $75 million of Powell River Energy Inc. bonds which
mature in July 2009 is progressing. The Fund has obtained a commitment for a
one-year bridge facility in the event it is unable to complete the refinancing
before maturity due to the current state of the credit markets.
    At March 31, 2009, the Fund had a strong liquidity position with cash and
short-term investments of $25.5 million, an increase of $16.5 million since
year-end 2008. The increase is primarily due to the bought-deal unit offering
completed in January 2009. The Fund also has access to almost $54 million of
committed credit facilities and hydrology reserve facility.

    CONFERENCE CALL

    A conference call for investors and media to review the first quarter
results for 2009 will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
To participate in the conference call, please dial 416-644-3414 or
1-800-732-9303 toll-free in North America, at 9:50 a.m. (EDT). For those
unable to participate in the conference call, a taped rebroadcast will also be
available until midnight on May 16, 2009. To access this rebroadcast, please
call 1-877-289-8525 toll-free in North America, and enter the passcode
21303240#. The conference call will also be webcast live on the Fund's website
at www.greatlakeshydro.com, where it will be archived for three months.

    DISTRIBUTIONS

    The schedule below sets out the cash distribution history for the last
twelve months:

    RECORD DATE              PAYMENT DATE              DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    March 31, 2009           April 30, 2009            10.417 cents
    February 28, 2009        March 31, 2009            10.417 cents
    January 31, 2009         February 27, 2009         10.417 cents
    December 31, 2008        January 30, 2009          10.417 cents
    November 30, 2008        December 31, 2008         10.417 cents
    October 31, 2008         November 28, 2008         10.417 cents
    September 30, 2008       October 31, 2008          10.417 cents
    August 31, 2008          September 30, 2008        10.417 cents
    July 31, 2008            August 29, 2008           10.417 cents
    June 30, 2008            July 31, 2008             10.417 cents
    May 30, 2008             June 30, 2008             10.417 cents
    April 30, 2008           May 30, 2008              10.417 cents
    

    CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

    This news release contains forward-looking statements and information
concerning the business, operations and financial condition of the Great Lakes
Hydro Income Fund ("Fund"). Forward-looking statements can be identified by
the use of words, such as "pending", "expected", "will", "allow", "sustain",
"stand to benefit", "look forward", or variations of such words and phrases or
state that certain actions, events or results "will" be taken, occur or be
achieved. Although the Fund believes that the Fund's anticipated future
results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the
forward-looking statements and information are based on reasonable assumptions
and expectations, it can give no assurance that such assumptions and
expectations will prove to have been correct. Forward-looking statements and
information involve assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and
other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements
of the Fund to be materially different from anticipated future results,
performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking
statements and information.
    Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to factors
relating to production and the business, financial position, distribution
policy, operations and prospects for the Fund. They include but are not
limited to: changes in hydrology and wind conditions; equipment failure;
failure by counterparties to fulfill contractual obligations and failure by
the Fund to replace contracts; the Fund's dependence on Brookfield Renewable
Power Inc. and potential conflicts of interest between Brookfield Renewable
Power Inc. and the Fund; energy rate fluctuations; failure by the Fund to
discover liabilities associated with acquisitions; changes in the general
economy; failure of transmission systems or adequate transmission capacity;
water rights; changes in the Canadian/US dollar exchange rate; changes to
regulations and increases in regulatory costs; failure by the Fund to renew,
maintain or obtain necessary governmental permits; inability to generate or
sell electricity; failure by the Fund to maintain dam safety; inadequate
insurance; failure by the Fund to comply with health, safety and environmental
regulations; threat of legal action and claims against the Fund; labour
disruptions; inability of the Fund to successfully integrate acquisitions;
changes in technology; inability of the Fund to access and refinance capital
on desirable terms and changes in interest rates; inability of the Fund to
withdraw cash from subsidiaries; risks related to the nature of the Trust
Units, tax matters and investment eligibility, the market for Trust Units and
Trust Unit prices, and unitholder liability.
    These factors and other risk factors, as described under "Risk Factors"
in the Fund's Annual Information Form, represent risks that the Fund believes
are material. Other factors not presently known to the Fund or that the Fund
presently believes are not material, could also cause actual results to differ
materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements and
information contained and incorporated by reference herein. Accordingly, undue
reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements or
information. The Fund disclaims any obligation to update publicly or to revise
any of the forward-looking statements or information contained in this news
release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise,
except as required by applicable law.

    ABOUT GREAT LAKES HYDRO INCOME FUND

    Great Lakes Hydro (www.greatlakeshydro.com) is a premier Canadian income
fund and one of the largest power income funds in North America with 1,260
megawatts of power generating capacity and average annual production of 4,539
gigawatt hours.
    Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund produces electricity exclusively from
environmentally friendly and renewable resources. The Fund indirectly owns or
holds interests in 27 high quality hydroelectric generating stations and one
wind farm in four distinct geographic regions across North America: Quebec,
Ontario, British Columbia and New England.
    Brookfield Renewable Power, which comprises all the power operations of
Brookfield Asset Management, owns 50.01% of the Fund's outstanding units on a
fully exchanged basis.
    Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund units are listed for trading on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbol GLH.UN.
    %SEDAR: 00013106EF




For further information:

For further information: Zev Korman, Director, Investor Relations and
Communications, (416) 359-1955, unitholderenquiries@greatlakeshydro.com

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