Work to extend the lifespan of the 660-MW Mactaquac Generating Station in New Brunswick, Canada

NB Power is proposing a project to ensure its 660-MW Mactaquac Generating Station can operate to its intended 100-year lifespan through equipment maintenance and replacement.

Mactaquac is a run-of-river hydro facility with an installed capacity of 660 MW, supplying about 12% of New Brunswick homes and businesses with clean, low-cost power. The facility began generating electricity in 1968.

Since the 1980s, concrete portions of the hydro station have been affected by a chemical reaction called alkali-aggregate reaction. The reaction causes the concrete to swell and crack and has required substantial annual maintenance and repairs.

To ensure the station can operate to its intended 100-year lifespan, NB Power is proposing a modified approach to maintenance and adjusting and replacing equipment over time. This recommendation follows three years of expert research, including input from science, engineers, the public and First Nations. The decision balances financial, technical, social and environmental considerations while respecting NB Power’s mandate to provide safe, reliable energy to New Brunswickers at low and stable rates. It will allow NB Power to take into account changes in cost, technology and electricity demand while ensuring a steady supply of clean, renewable power for New Brunswickers.

The foundation for NB Power’s decision process lies in its legal obligations, including:

  • Providing safe, reliable electricity to New Brunswickers at low and stable rates as described in the Electricity Act; 
  • Following all provincial environmental rules and regulations relevant to hydro operations;
  • Respecting the legal rights of First Nations.

The project is subject to regulatory oversight and approval through legislated processes administered by the Province of New Brunswick’s environment department and the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board.

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