Total hydro output – regulated and unregulated – dipped slightly to 9TWh of electricity in the three months to 31 March compared to last time.

While regulated output lifted a little, to 4.7TWh from 4.6TWh, this was more than offset by the reduction in unregulated output to 4.3TWh from 4.5TWh compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Average regulated hydro availability was up at 94.2% compared to 93.4% in Q1-’08. The availability for the unregulated category was relatively steady at 95.5%.

The utility also recently reported the close of Can$200M (US$182M) in private bond funds to redevelop four plants on the Upper Mattagami river and Montreal river. The plants are: Wawaitin, Sandy Falls, Lower Sturgeon and Hound Chute.

The work is being undertaken by UMH Energy Partnership, a venture between OPG and its subsidiary UMH Energy, Inc. OPG is also contributing Can$100M (US$91M) to the redevelopment work.

UMH Energy Partnership was set up to buy, own, redevelop, operate and maintain some run-of-river plants owned by OPG on the Upper Mattagami and Montreal rivers.

Separately, OPG has also announced a settlement with Red Rock First Nation over past project impact, which may also lead to further hydro development.

In addition, an update o thef Niagara hydro project has put the completion date back to to late 2013 due to excavation difficulties.