When it began service in 1968, the Mactaquac Dam completed a network of hydroelectric facilities along the St John River that were intended to supply people of New Brunswick’s with a reliable, renewable, and cheap source of energy well into the future.
Unfortunately, New Brunswick’s modern industrial economy did not unfold as expected and the concrete used to construct the dam has been subject to an alkali-aggregate reaction causing the dam to crumble. This resulted in a dramatic reduction in the projected life of the dam and forced NB Power to develop, and seek a contingent set of possible futures for the St John River Watershed.
NB Power has identified three such Options for the dam
1. Rebuild the damn with a new spillway and powerhouse
2. Maintain the dam by building a new spillway
3. Decommission the dam and restore the river by removing the spillway, powerhouse and earthen dam
4. Develop techniques to extend the life of the dam through various maintenance activities.
The 2015-2016 Capstone course worked in collaboration with WWF to substitute important missing information regarding climate change in the original report composed by NB Power.
Take a look at what our past alumni have to say about the Mactaquac Project: