New Brunswick’s Energy Installations
St. John River dam system:
- Point Lepreau
- Coleson Cove
- Irving Oil Refinery
Maritimes and Northeast Natural Gas Pipeline
Wind power installations at:
- Kent Hills
- Mount Carleton area
Existing natural gas wells – Corridor Resources, etc.
Beechwood is a hydroelectric power station on the Saint John River between Bath and Pert-Andover, 160 kilometers north of Fredericton. One of the smaller hydro plants in the province, Beechwood was constructed by NB Power and began operating in 1957.
It features a ‘run of the river’ design, often used at sites where limited water storage is available. In this case, the dam’s normal upstream reservoir level is roughly 18 meters above the river’s surface downstream.
The station operates with three turbines and has a generating capacity of 112 megawatts.
NB Power’s Belledune plant is a thermal station on the shore of Chaleur Bay, 40 kilometers northwest of Bathurst. It can produce 467 megawatts of electricity from the combustion of pulverized coal as the primary fuel, and petroleum coke as a blended supplemental fuel.
Belledune was the first thermal power station in Canada designed with a Flue Gas Desulphurization System, or “scrubber.” It also operates with an electrostatic precipitator, which removes over 99% of the particles in the flue gases, and special burners to limit nitrogen oxide emissions.
The station has been operating since 1993. A major upgrade in 2004 saw the addition of added technology to recapture fly ash from the combustion process. This material is then converted into synthetic gypsum and sold by NB Power to J.D. Irving Limited for production of wallboard.
Caribou Wind Park
Caribou Wind Park is located 70 km west of Bathurst in north-central NB. With a 99 megawatt capacity, the Caribou site covers 25 km from end to end.
It has 16 wind turbines in one section and 17 in the other. Each of these 33 ‘Vesta-90’ turbines is rated at 3.0 megawatts. Situated east of Mount Carleton, which is the highest peak in the Maritimes, Caribou benefits from exposure to the region’s strong prevailing winds. It began operations in 2009 and is owned by GDF SUEZ Energy North America.
The electricity generated at Caribou is sold to NB Power under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
NB Power’s Coleson Cove station is near the western municipal boundary of Saint John, 16 km southwest of the city’s central core. A thermal power plant, it has a total capacity of 972 megawatts.
The plant generates electricity from combustion of heavy fuel oil in two boilers, as well as a combination of petroleum coke and heavy fuel oil in a third boiler. Fuel is delivered to Coleson Cove through an underground pipeline from the ‘Canaport’ bulk tanker unloading site at Red Head, 4 km southeast of Saint John. This fuel is stored in two 1.5 million barrel tanks at Canaport, and four 300,000 barrel tanks at the station.
Coleson Cove incorporates a series of air emission control systems including three electrostatic precipitators, two flue gas desulphurization units, two wet electrostatic precipitators, low NOx burners, as well as ash collection and reinjection technology.
Corridor Resources Inc. drilled a natural gas discovery well at the ‘McCully Field’ near Sussex in September 2000, working in partnership with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. McCully Field wells have been supplying the nearby potash mill with natural gas since 2003.
The company’s McCully/Frederick Brook Shale Exploration & Development area covers 225,000 hectares. Corridor currently has natural gas production and reserves in the McCully Field; crude oil reserves in the nearby Caledonia Field, and contingent resources in the Elgin area.
Thirty-five natural gas wells were drilled in the McCully Field by the end of 2008. A 50 km pipeline connects it to the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, (M&NP) which delivers natural gas to Canadian and US markets. Corridor began production to M&NP in June 2007.
The Grand Falls hydroelectric dam was constructed in 1931 on the Saint John River, roughly 200 km north of Fredericton.
The plant was owned and operated by International Paper until 1959, when it was purchased by NB Power. The location chosen for the project is a natural waterfall featuring rock ledges where the river drops a total of 23 meters.
The falls and gorge are in the heart of Grand Falls. The dam was built at the top of the falls, with a water intake system which feeds into a pressure tunnel running to the powerhouse. The station operates with 4 turbines and has a total production capacity of 66 megawatts.
The Irving Oil Refinery in east Saint John began operating in 1960. It is Canada’s largest refinery and employs a regular workforce of more than 1,400 people.
At least 300,000 barrels of finished energy products are produced at Irving Oil each day, including low-sulphur gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, jet fuel, propane and asphalt. The refinery exports over 80 per cent of its output to the United States.
The facility covers 780 acres and has been upgraded on several occasions since it was built.
During a $1.5 billion expansion in 2000, a 90 megawatt gas-fired cogeneration power plant was also developed on the property in conjunction with Trans-Canada Energy Ltd. The ‘Grandview’ plant relies on natural gas from Nova Scotia to produce two forms of energy - power and steam. Irving Oil has a long term contract to purchase 100 per cent of the plant’s heat and electricity output.
Bayside Power is a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Saint John owned by Emera Energy Ltd. The electricity produced at the station during the winter months is purchased by NB Power and provided to its provincial transmission grid. During the rest of the year, Emera sells power from Bayside to other customers in the northeastern US.
The combined cycle technology used at Bayside maximizes the natural gas energy available to the site. The station has a 285 megawatt capacity and is considered the most thermally efficient generating asset in Atlantic Canada.
The Emera group of companies includes Emera New Brunswick as well, which operates the natural gas pipeline connecting Saint John’s Canaport LNG terminal to the existing Maritimes & Northeast pipeline.
Kent Hills Wind Farm is situated on provincial crown land, 32 km southwest of Moncton. It was the first commercial wind power plant developed in NB and is also the largest operation of its kind in the province.
Completed in two phases between 2008 and 2010, there are 50 V90-3.0 MW Vesta turbines at Kent Hills. Each one features three 45 meter blades at the top of 80 metre towers. The plant has a 150 megawatt capacity, and a 28.5 km transmission line connects it to NB Power’s terminal near Salisbury.
Kent Hills was developed jointly by Trans-Alta Corporation and Natural Forces Technologies Inc. Trans-Alta has a 25 year agreement to sell electricity generated at Kent Hills exclusively to NB Power.
Located on Lamèque Island in northeastern NB, this wind power plant covers roughly 3,100 acres. The concept of a wind power station in the local area was initially conceived by the community-based Lamèque Renewable Energy Cooperative.
Development of the site involved 68 separate landowners, who took part in the project through long term lease agreements. The plant began operations in 2011 and includes thirty 1.5 MW turbines with a total generating capacity of 45 megawatts.
Lamèque Wind Power is wholly-owned and operated by Acciona Energy North America. The company has a long term agreement with NB Power to purchase all the electricity produced at the facility.
Powered by a CANDU-6 nuclear reactor, NB Power’s Point Lepreau station began operations in 1983 on the Bay of Fundy shore, roughly 40 km west of Saint John.
Point Lepreau is the only nuclear power generating facility in Atlantic Canada and has a production capacity of 660 megawatts. The station was originally constructed over eight years starting in 1975. After a major refurbishment and overhaul, it was declared commercially operational again in November 2012.
Lepreau is fueled by natural uranium and the plant site includes an integral nuclear waste management facility. Full-time Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission staff onsite conduct inspections to evaluate operations, and verify compliance with national regulatory requirements and licence conditions.
NB Power’s Mactaquac station is the largest hydro dam in the Maritimes, with a capacity of 653 megawatts. It’s been operating since 1968 on the Saint John River, 19 km west of Fredericton.
The headpond formed by the dam extends 96 kilometers upstream. Its structure combines a rock-fill dam sealed by clay with two concrete spill-ways and a power house. Based on present projections, its lifespan is expected to end by 2030. This is related to an alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR), which is causing the station’s concrete sections to gradually expand.
NB Power officials have presented 3 options for the facility’s future to the provincial utility regulator: (1) Re-power the dam by replacing the spillway and the powerhouse; (2) No continued power generation - maintain the headpond by replacing the spillway, but not the powerhouse; (3) Remove the spillway, powerhouse and rock-fill dam and restore the river to its original state.
Maritimes & Northeast is a 1,101 kilometer pipeline built to transport natural gas from Nova Scotia’s offshore developments to markets in Canada and the northeastern United States.
The M&NP system consists of a main pipeline running from Goldboro, Nova Scotia through New Brunswick to the Canadian - U.S. border near Baileyville, Maine. Beginning in 1999, M&NP established a large number of market delivery points in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Within NB, these locations include: Sackville, Baie Verte, Moncton, Fredericton, Saint John, Saint George and St. Stephen. The pipeline now transports onshore and offshore natural gas, as well as natural gas sourced from LNG imports to Canada. Such sources include Nova Scotia’s Sable Offshore Energy Project, Corridor Resources' McCully Project near Sussex, NB and the ‘Canaport’ LNG Receiving and Re-gasification Terminal in Saint John.