Mactaquac Dam: What to do with the Quac?
We have about 15 years now to decide what to do with the damn dam. NBPower is estimating that whatever is done, will cost around 5 billion dollars regardless.
Currently the options are:
1. Repair/rebuild it. Pros: It still generates power. Cons: Most expensive solution.
2. Remove the generation capacity, leave the basic dam: Pros: Cheaper, minimal impact. Cons: Still pricey, no more income from power generation.
3. Restore the river; take it all down. Pros: River is back to normal. Cons: No more power generation. Diminished control of the river during the spring.
So what should we do with the Quac? Is it worth saving or should we just go the green route and restore the river?
If we decide to take it all down (very unlikely admittedly), what impact would that have on Mactaquac and Freddy?
Mactaquac would lose most of its waterfront area which would be economically disastrous.
Would Freddy be at risk for flooding? Would we need to add ice breakers in front of Westmorland Bridge?
Woodstock would regain its river island parks, and the reversing falls (or the currents at least) would reach up to Woodstock and beyond again (supposedly)
Personally, I'm not sure where I stand on this. On the one hand, I don't think we could afford to lose Mactaquac's power generation in the years to come, unless there is a big breakthrough in the next 10 somewhere. On the other hand, part of me wants to see the Saint John opened up again, especially the above dam stretch.
But in any case, I'm pretty sure the middle solution is a nonstarter. It's pretty much the worse of both options, though if they decide to reopen the dam it would be easiest to restore from.
And I have no clue how rising sea levels and/or more extreme weather will affect the dam, or the opened river.