St. George Power Modernization Project
St. George Power has recently modernized its dam at the mouth of the Magaguadavic River in Charlotte County, New Brunswick. The former stop log gates at the old dam site have been upgraded with three new hydraulic steel gates.
The $1.5M project generated over 12,000 hours of work over six months, calling on the resources of some 35 New Brunswick trades people.
The investment has improved the efficiencies of St George Power's operations and has created a much safer work environment for its employees.
"We've upgraded the gates with a new safer, more efficient hydraulic system to replace the previous stop log system which had become antiquated," said Renée Morais, Environmental Coordinator, J.D. Irving, Limited.
Watch [video] of the new upgrade.
Before the upgrade, the gates in the original dam were opened and closed through the use of wooden logs, or “stop logs”. In the past employees had to remove the stop logs, one by one, off the top of the dam - usually in harsh weather conditions. The old process could take up to eight hours to complete. Now the steel gates lift up by remote control, taking only 30 minutes - which not only dramatically improves response time, but also improves the safety for the St. George Power employees.
The modernization also includes improvements to the fish passage gate. The centre gate of the dam includes a smaller gate that can be operated remotely, allowing the downstream flow of fish.
“We are committed to the management and movement of fish,” said Morais. “St. George Power works with Fisheries and Oceans Canada as well as other stakeholders to continually improve our processes. This modernization investment goes a long way to ensure our operation remains safe for employees as well as economically and environmentally sustainable for the future.”
About St. George Power
The dam at St. George has been part of the community for over a century. The “main” dam was built in the early part of the last century, and the height of the dam was increased in 1950. In 2002 St. George Power undertook a major construction project to install a new dam. In 2013 the old manual stop log dam was replaced with hydraulic steel gates operated by a remote panel.
The hydro facility was extensively redeveloped in 2002-2004. It has a current annual generating capacity of approximately 45,000 MWHr of electricity generated from two turbines having a combined maximum capacity of 15 MW. It has been green certified by Terrachoice under Environment Canada’s EcoLogo Certification program.
Project team members: Gerald Bourque, Operator; Renée Morais, Environmental Coordinator, JDI; Michelle Boyer, Project Engineer/Manager; and Kevin Small, Operations Manager