Historic Hydroelectric Certified Green Power

People in New Brunswick have a rebuilt and revitalized micro-hydro power source in the St. George dam on the Magaguadavic River. The dam for St. George Power has grown from 2.5 MW to 15 MW after two-years of demolition and construction, and can produce 40,000 MWh of power per year.

St. George, New Brunswick – September 21, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] It has also met the criteria of the Environmental Choice program, which has certified the dam as a green power source. The Environmental Choice Program has made a commitment to promote electrical energy sources that have greatly reduced environmental impacts. Technologies that use naturally occurring energy sources, such as the wind, sun, small run-of-river hydro and certain types of biomass, are all eligible for certification. In order to get certification approval, the dam at St. George had to be a reliable and permanent power source. Project planning and development had to include consultation with the local community, and consider the prior use of the land, how the project could affect the natural attributes and if any cultural values would conflict with the project. The dam could have affected how Salmon migrate up the river, and project designers had to ensure that the fish paths would still be accessible. St. George power has to match its power sales with the amount of power available from the source, and the dam has to meet regulatory license requirements. “We congratulate the company on this achievement and for recognizing the potential for a complete re-development of this historic plant,” said the Honorable Bruce Fitch, Minister of Energy. “St. George Power has not only been given a new lease on life, but it has the potential of playing an important role in the energy sector of our province as we move forward with new policies and programs that will benefit the environment and ratepayers in New Brunswick.” Construction of the new dam and demolition of the old dam began in the spring of 2002. About 50 people were employed during the two-year project, and the generating station employs two operators to monitor the power plants systems. “Since 1902 the original mill and powerhouse have served as an icon to this community’s proud history. Today’s achievement serves as a symbol of this community’s future and its focus on environmental stewardship and innovation,” said Jim Irving, who is the president of forest and petroleum products company J.D. Irving.
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