Renewable energy developer Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. has officially opened its Melancthon EcoPower centre, the largest wind energy installation in Canada.

The 199.5 MW wind farm is expected to achieve commercial operation this month and will generate an average of 545 GWh/year, according to Canadian Hydro. The installation is located near Shelburne, Ontario.

The Melancthon centre was constructed in two phases, the first of which entered commercial operation in March 2006. The project will generate Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the Ontario Power Authority, which will buy the entire plant’s output under a 20-year renewable energy supply contract.

Phase I of Melancthon EcoPower has a generating capacity of 67.5 MW. Construction of the 132 MW Phase II began in late 2007.

“Phase II of the Melancthon EcoPower Centre is one of two fully-financed projects that will double the size of Canadian Hydro in the coming months,” said John Keating, CEO of Canadian Hydro, which operates a renewable generation portfolio based on hydro, wind and biomass technologies. “By generating low-impact, renewable energy, Melancthon is also a win for the environment. Canadian Hydro is the working model for the renewable energy industry in Canada.”

“We are proud that Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. picked Ontario as the location for Canada’s largest wind farm,” said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “This important investment not only has valuable spinoff benefits for the local community, but benefits all Ontarians by boosting our supply of non-polluting power.”

Canadian Hydro owns and operates 20 power generation facilities in Canada with a combined capacity of 364 MW. It also has 517 MW of capacity nearing construction and a further 1632 MW in development. All of its facilities are certified under Environment Canada’s EcoLogo programme.