01/27/2012 07:53 EST | Updated 03/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Algonquin Power cancels planned US$83M investment in First Wind Holdings

OAKVILLE, Wash. - Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX:AQN) announced Friday it is cancelling a planned US$83-million investment in First Wind Holdings LLC, citing regulatory delays for a project in Maine among the reasons.

In its initial joint announcement with Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA) last April, Algonquin had contemplated acquiring a 12.5 per cent minority interest in First Wind's portfolio in the U.S. northeast.

"Although First Wind is a developer of high quality wind projects, the longer than anticipated regulatory process in Maine, together with the transactions we have announced since April 2011, have contributed to our decision not to proceed," Algonquin CEO Ian Robertson said in a statement.

"Notwithstanding this decision, we remain solidly focused on gaining regulatory approval in Maine for the advancement of our strategic investment agreement with Emera," Robertson added.

Emera CEO Chris Huskilson said his company remains "fully committed" to the First Wind transaction.

"We believe this proposed investment will create benefits for citizens and customers of that state," he said.

Algonquin Power owns and operates a diversified portfolio of $1.2 billion of renewable electric generation and sustainable utility distribution businesses in North America and in three Caribbean countries. Liberty Utilities Co., APUC's regulated distribution utility business, provides regulated water and electric utility services to more than 120,000 customers with a portfolio of 22 water and electric utility systems.

Emera, with $6.8 billion in assets and 2010 revenues of $1.6 billion, invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems as well as natural gas transmission and utility energy services.