Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund Reports Strongest Year in the Fund's History



    STOCK SYMBOL: GLH.UN/TSX

    Announces closing of acquisition of Prince Wind and Pingston Hydro joint
    venture interest

    GATINEAU, QC, Feb. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund (the
"Fund") today reported its financial and operating results for the fourth
quarter and year ended December 31, 2008. 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.

    Closing of Strategic Acquisition
    --------------------------------

    The Fund also reported today the closing of the previously announced
acquisition of the Prince Wind farm and Pingston Hydro joint venture interest
from Brookfield Renewable Power for cash consideration of $65 million and a
fixed number of exchangeable shares of the corporation that owns the projects.
On a fully-exchanged basis, Brookfield Renewable Power will maintain its
50.01% ownership interest in the Fund.

    Fourth Quarter Results
    ----------------------

    Generation of 905 gigawatt hours (GWh) for the fourth quarter was 22%
higher than the 742 GWh generated in the same period last year and slightly
above long-term average of 902 GWh. All regions reported improved generation
except for Ontario which was well below normal due to weaker hydrology
conditions. Despite the weaker fourth quarter, the Ontario region enjoyed its
strongest year ever in 2008 at 6% above long term average.
    The Québec region's generation of 397 GWh was higher than the prior year
period and long-term average by 182 GWh and 43 GWh, respectively. This led to
a 71% revenue increase over the fourth quarter of 2007 and contributed to the
Québec region's second best year in terms of generation since the Fund's
inception. The New England Region ended a record 2008 with a strong fourth
quarter, with quarterly revenues also benefiting from the appreciation in the
U.S. currency. In British Columbia, generation increased nearly 10% from the
fourth quarter of 2007 and was 24% above long-term average for the fourth
quarter.
    Fourth quarter revenues of $39.9 million and income before non-cash items
of $18.7 million increased by 20% and 65%, respectively, from the same period
a year earlier. Fourth quarter distributions to unitholders totaled $15.0
million or 31 cents per unit.

    FINANCIAL AND OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unaudited                      Three months ended    Twelve months ended
    CDN $ millions,                       December 31            December 31
     except otherwise noted              2008    2007          2008     2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenues                           $ 39.9  $ 33.3       $ 195.7  $ 155.8
    Income before non-cash items         18.7    11.3         100.1     65.3
    Distribution                         15.0    15.0          60.3     60.3
    Per unit
      Income before non-cash items       0.39    0.23          2.07     1.35
      Distribution                       0.31    0.31          1.25     1.25
    Power generated (GWh)                 905     742         4,436    3,487
    Average price (cents/KWh)             4.6     4.5           4.6      4.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The year 2008 was the strongest in the Fund's history. Total generation of
4,436 GWh was 27% above the prior year and 13% above long-term average due to
increased precipitation and water inflows in the Québec, Ontario and New
England regions throughout the year. Revenues of $195.7 million and income
before non-cash items of $100.1 million were both significantly above prior
year amounts of $155.8 million and $65.3 million, respectively.
    "It has been a truly milestone year," said Richard Legault. "Despite a
very challenging economic backdrop, we achieved our strongest annual
performance since the Fund was created. While strong hydrology prevailed
throughout much of the year, our results are also a reflection of the quality
of our assets and management's focus on securing long-term, stable cash
flows."
    In 2008, the Fund returned to a more normalized level of capital spending
across its operations, having invested $16.8 million in capital expenditures
and $3.5 million in major maintenance. The Fund currently expects to invest
$17.3 million in capital expenditures and $4.5 million in major maintenance
during 2009.
    At December 31, 2008, the Fund had a strong liquidity position with $46.1
million available though its existing credit and hydrology facilities, and a
current cash balance of $9.0 million.
    "We are delighted to report the closing of this strategic transaction,
which will lead to greater resource and regional diversification, and is
expected to contribute significantly to the Fund maintaining its current
annual distribution of $1.25 per unit on an after-tax basis past 2011," added
Mr. Legault.

    CONFERENCE CALL

    A conference call for investors and media to review the fourth quarter and
year end results for 2008 will be held on Friday, February 6, 2009 at 10:00
a.m. (EST). To participate in the conference call, please dial 416-644-3415 or
1-800-733-7560 toll-free in North America, at 9:50 a.m. (EST). For those
unable to participate in the conference call, a taped rebroadcast will also be
available until midnight on February 10, 2009. To access this rebroadcast,
please call 1-877-289-8525 toll-free in North America, and enter the passcode
21294411#. 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
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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
    March 31, 2008        April 30, 2008        10.417 cents
    February 29, 2008     March 31, 2008        10.417 cents
    January 31, 2008      February 29, 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" 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 1,255
megawatts of power generating capacity and average annual production of 4,596
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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