Hydro electricity makes up more than 20 per cent of the total capacity of the generation system. It's an important part of the system because it decreases generation costs, while providing a renewable energy source that has little environmental impact and does not emit greenhouse gases.
NB Power purchased Nepisiguit Falls Generating Station in June 2007. The station's first two units were built in 1921, with the addition of a third unit in 1929. The Station has a total capacity of 10.8 MW.
Although the Sisson Generating Station is small, its unique storage dam acts as a regulator for water flowing to the Tobique Narrows Generating Station. The storage reservoir at Sisson, 112 kilometres upstream from Tobique, is the largest of the four storages in the Tobique River watershed. The water is supplied to the powerhouse through a 442 metre long steel penstock.
The town of Grand Falls is situated on a plateau with the river flowing around it in the form of a horseshoe. The natural falls and gorge are in the bend of the horseshoe. The dam is at the top of the falls, with the water intake feeding a pressure tunnel that runs under the town to the powerhouse. A number of observation decks are located to give the best views of the falls and the gorge. A natural trail stretching along the gorge also provides a good view of the falls.
The Tobique Narrows Generating Station takes it name from one of the largest tributaries of the upper Saint John River . The station was completed in 1953 and has a capacity of 20 MW. A roadway sits atop the dam serving as a bridge. The station has a fish ladder, a series of steps that allow Atlantic Salmon to swim from the lower level of the dam to the waters of the Tobique and their spawning grounds.
The 113 MW Beechwood Generating Station, located on the Saint John River 160 kilometres north of Fredericton , is a symbol of beauty and efficiency. The floral clock located here is a popular tourist attraction. The clock is 9 meters in diameter with a 4 meter minute hand and a 3 meter hour hand. It is run by power from the dam and is operated by a motor in a small room underneath the clock. The clock stands in a garden, which contains a collection of many native New Brunswick trees.
Mactaquac is the largest hydroelectric generating station in the Maritime Provinces and is located 19 kilometres up the Saint John River from Fredericton . "Mactaquac", a Maliseet word meaning "big branch", was the name given to the stream that flows into the Saint John River , and now forms part of the Mactaquac headpond. The headpond offers ample recreational activities throughout the year. Fish collection facilities have been incorporated at Mactaquac to help the river's salmon stocks.
NB Power's first hydro plant was the Milltown Generating Station. The station is located on the St. Croix River, which forms the south western international boundary between New Brunswick and Maine. When originally built it 1881, the plant contained a 500 horse power water wheel with equipment attached by the traditional rope drive method. A new dam was built in the early 1900s.