Energy & Power
Fate of Mactaquac GS to move ahead with open houses
By Renée Francoeur
September 22, 2015 – NB Power says it is inviting New Brunswickers to share what is most important to them about the future of the Mactaquac Generating Station in a process that will help shape a decision planned for 2016.
New Brunswickers can contribute to the conversation online, in person at open houses and public meetings, and in writing until March 31, 2016.
Since 2014, scientists, engineers and other experts have been studying the potential impacts of the various options on people and the environment, including First Nations. Much of this work has been captured in two reports: a Comparative Environmental Review (CER) Report and a Social Impact Comparative Review report, which are both now available online in draft form for public comment.
“We are pleased to launch this public discussion about the future of the Mactaquac Generating Station,” said Gaëtan Thomas, NB Power president and CEO. “We have a big decision to make and there is a lot to consider, including the costs, the environment, impact to communities and the potential economic activity. We want to hear from New Brunswickers about what is important to them as we consider the path ahead.”
The station is expected to reach the end of its service life by 2030 because of a problem with concrete expansion in some of the structures, said the utility. NB Power has identified three possible options for the station, including building a new GS, removing all structures to allow the river to return to a natural flow or leaving the dam in place but without power generation.
In addition, NB Power said it is examining the potential for an onsite solution to the concrete problem that may extend the life of the station beyond 2030. The feasibility of this has not been determined yet, it noted.
New Brunswickers can find out more during a series of open houses planned for October at the following dates and locations:
• Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Riverside Resort and Conference Centre, 35 Mactaquac Rd., French Village, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.;
• Thursday, Oct. 15 – Nackawic Lions Club Community Centre, 134 Otis Dr., Nackawic, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.;
• Tuesday, Oct. 20 – Delta Fredericton, 225 Woodstock Rd., Fredericton, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.;
• Wednesday, Oct. 21 – St. Thomas University, 51 Dineen Dr., Fredericton, foyer of Kinsella Auditorium, from noon to 3 p.m.; and
• Thursday, Oct. 22, Best Western Hotel, 123 Gallop Ct., Woodstock, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
NB Power said it will also host a series of facilitated discussions in communities affected by the decision early in 2016.
The hydroelectric generating facility is located west of Fredericton on the St. John River. It began operating in 1968, and has the capacity to generate about 670MW through six turbines. The station supplies about 12% of New Brunswick homes and businesses.
Catch a video about the project HERE.