Letters to the editor – The Milltown dam; an official response, and a rebuke


In response to my letter on the destruction of the Milltown hydroelectric dam, I received a reply from a provincial Conservative Party government official. The letter states the dam cannot produce enough energy, and its end of life is 2021. Below is my (edited) reply to said government official:

Your single point response to the financial discrepancies brought forward is costly for N.B. tax payers. To simply use low production as an excuse for poor maintenance is illogical. Over the years, someone has allowed the old turbines to age and fail without replacing them. The infrastructure is structurally sound. The end of life is only for the turbines. The proper cost analysis should reflect all seven of the old turbines being replaced with new efficient versions. Then it would generate much more energy.

The NB Power quoted original cost to decommission the dam was $20 million, and has already been increased to $36 million. How much more will it really cost?

Since a new fish ladder will be needed after decommission, the only refurbishment cost to compare to the destruction cost is for new turbines. Turbines will surely cost much less than $36 million.

The head pond is only half a kilometre long. The water flows the same above as it flows below. Yet they spin that the dam removal will open up 16 kilometres of the river. I doubt that the State of Maine will accept that false theory when their Woodland dam is attacked next.

The groups pushing to destroy Milltown should recognize that they have a moral dilemma. They are the protectors of our natural environment.

Yet, they are working with the second worst polluter in N.B., to destroy one of NB Power’s few clean renewable energy assets. This unique hydroelectric asset can never be replaced.

History will eventually record who was party to this illogical destruction and the secret agenda that caused it. The next generation will come up with another new plaque for those groups’ denial of global warming and climate change.

Please ask the powers who want to demolish Milltown, to simply co-exist. They can place their plaques and structures in an improved setting near the dam.

And continue to be good stewards of our natural environment.


Daryl Spires

Crocker Hill, N.B.