Mactaquac Generating Station welcomes visitors for open house and tours on Thursday, June 25
Fredericton, N.B. – NB Power invites all New Brunswickers to visit Mactaquac Generating Station for an open house and official opening of the renovated visitors’ centre on Thursday, June 25, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The station’s new tour centre contains floor-to-ceiling wall displays of photo and text that create a visual narrative of the station’s history, natural environment and impact on surrounding communities.
The renovation and design was a collaborative effort, featuring a large panel focusing on the relationship of First Nations with the St. John River, with photos and text provided by members of Kingsclear First Nation. Other groups, including the St. John River Society, Friends of Mactaquac Lake, the Nackawic Historical Society, the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, Harvey Studios and the Canadian Rivers Institute provided photos, text and assistance with this project.
The renovations are part of NB Power’s comprehensive public engagement project to inform New Brunswickers about the station.
“The story of Mactaquac started long before the first plans were drawn,” says Gaëtan Thomas, President and CEO of NB Power. “It is important to remember the history of the area before the station to have an informed and engaged conversation about potential options for the station. I hope to see many New Brunswickers visiting our station and taking the opportunity to learn more about the river, the people and the station.”
Wall-sized panels explain the diverse and unique eco-system in and around the Saint John River, the river’s vital and deeply-integrated role in First Nations’ culture and lifestyle, the construction of the dam, the impact it had on local residents, the problem with alkali-aggregate reaction and the three future options.
Through the collaboration with Kingsclear First Nation, NB Power was able to incorporate Maliseet translation into the panel about the Wolastoqiyik, the people living along the Wolastoq (Saint John River.) It is estimated that there are approximately 650 native speakers living today.
All members of the public are invited for guided tours. NB Power will also be joined by its educational partner The Gaia Project, who will bring their Mobile Energy Centre, a four-metre long trailer equipped with various pieces of interactive learning tools such as a bicycle generator, a weather station and wind turbines. The Gaia Project helps empower youth to make informed decisions about energy.
The Mactaquac Generating Station offers visitor tours daily between 9 and 5 from May to Labour Day. Tours are available without an appointment and group bookings can be made by calling 462-3886. Note the tour is not recommended for children under six, and closed-toe shoes are required.
The Mactaquac Generating Station is expected to reach the end of its service life by 2030 due to problems with concrete expansion in some of the structures. NB Power is examining how future options might impact people and the environment, along with engineering, economic and scientific considerations, and will choose a path forward in 2016.
Last fall, NB Power contributed $2.3 million in research funding to the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick to support a large, multidisciplinary study intended to answer key questions about the impact of the three options on fish passage, environmental flows and whole river ecosystem.
The Mactaquac Generating Station is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric generating facility located west of Fredericton on the St. John River. The station began operating in 1968, and has the capacity to generate 660 megawatts of energy using the flow of water through six turbines. The station supplies about 12 per cent of New Brunswick homes and businesses with clean, low-cost power.
Learn more about the Mactaquac Project by visiting our website.
Media Contact: Deborah Nobes, Communications, NB Power, 506-458-4838.