Geothermal from Canada’s Existing Oil and Gas infrastructure: CanGEA Submission to the Federal Ministry of Infrastructure Stakeholder Consultation on Phase 2 Infrastructure Spending.
The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) is the collective voice of Canada’s geothermal industry with a focus on the development of power generation and direct use of heat from geothermal resources. Our association represents 150+ members with the goal of unlocking Canada’s tremendous geothermal potential.
We champion geothermal development because it will benefit Canadian individuals, businesses and communities by allowing each to prosper through access to low cost renewable energy (heat and power). Canada has a strategic advantage for the development of geothermal because we are already world leaders in sub-surface resource development and our numerous remote communities would see disproportionally large benefits from increased sustainable baseload energy access and economic opportunities.
Full submission document here.
A great article in the Huffington Post which mentions multiple CanGEA members!
The mountain village of Valemount, British Columbia, located along the Rocky Mountain trench is eyeing the nearby Canoe Reach hot springs and looking to create a geothermal industrial park. Borealis Geopower hopes to build a 15-megawatt power plant that will supply power back to the BC Hydro grid. The project also aims to support a whole host of community-led projects which will use the ‘left over’ heat from the power production for direct heat use projects and businesses.
One of CanGEA’s members, Three Ranges Brewery, is already lined up to use this residual geothermal heat from
Borealis’s 15-megawatt power plant.
The Village of Valmont - also a CanGEA member - is grabbing the project with both hands and trying to create a success of it. The villagers are well informed and have established their own Geothermal Committee.
You can read the full article here.
Here is a brief synopsis of the recent article written by Reuters in the Globe and Mail on Aug. 09 2016 showcasing the Leduc No.1 Discovery Centre - Living Energy Project:
CanGEA is proud to support Iron + Earth and their Workers’ Climate Plan. CanGEA believes the skills earned by Canadians in the oil and gas industries not only should be valued, because they represent our world leading expertise, but also because Canada needs those skills and workers to develop geothermal; which will become a made in Canada climate change solution.
The future for Canadian geothermal is myriad including (but not limited to) brand new utility scale power plants, district heating to keep our communities warm, distributed micro-power from hydrocarbon wells to give energy access to remote communities, increased food security through year-round greenhouse agriculture, and any other productive process that can use low cost heat and power. Each, and everyone of these developments will require the workers who know how to develop sub-surface resources, build energy distribution facilities, and support infrastructure enhancement.
Furthermore, as world wide investment in clean energy is only growing, geothermal is poised to be a significant export industry, once it is developed domestically. The potential market for skilled workers is much larger than Canada and the ability to export expertise is the greatest value added resource Canada can offer globally. For all these reasons CanGEA encourages you to sign the Workers’ Climate Plan so that geothermal can become the important part of the renewable energy future it should be and Canada’s oil and gas workers can keep doing what they do best.
Alex Kent, MSc
Policy Manager, CanGEA
The Rocky Mountain Goat magazine reports that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the proposed geothermal industrial park in Valemount has been signed between CanGEA member Borealis Geopower and the Valemount Community Forest. This is a great step for the geothermal industry in Canada, as it brings us closer to getting geothermal MW's online. You can read the full article here.
Author: Rick Young, P.Geo. (ret.), CanGEA member
Could geothermal energy be the dark horse of Alberta’s green energy movement? One might think so based on the evident growing interest in this benign source of heat and power by people of diverse backgrounds. At the recent Geothermal Tech Transfer Workshop held at SAIT (June 23, 2016), there were almost 80 engineers, geoscientists, bankers, educators, lawyers, facility procurers and other specialists in attendance for the day, all intently interested in learning more about the nascent geothermal industry in western Canada. The workshop had numerous sponsors, but was organized primarily by CanGEA (Canadian Geothermal Energy Association).
The introductory paragraph written to entice people to sign up for the workshop is revealing enough. It reads, “Geothermal energy is delivering clean, base-load and low cost electricity in 24 countries around the world. Canada is still missing out on this opportunity. This workshop will target the question of how to transfer existing skills and expertise in oil/gas to geothermal project development. Low commodity prices and the economic downturn make this a hot topic”.
Ask most people what comes to mind when you mention geothermal energy and the answers will most likely be backyard-based heat exchangers, and volcanic geothermal fields like those of Iceland or New Zealand. But in between these extreme examples (very small to very large scale opportunities) lies a vast storehouse of heat energy in the form of hot, subsurface water. This briny water is found universally in layered rock formations of all sedimentary basins, such as the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, and in naturally fractured rock systems, such as the Rocky Mountain Trench.
Accessing and utilizing the energy trapped in hot, subsurface water systems is being successfully and economically exploited in several countries, including the U.S., Germany, and Turkey. This resource is huge in western and northern Canada, and ironically is quite well studied, analyzed, and mapped, thanks to countless tests conducted in oil and gas well operations over many decades on hundreds of thousands of wells. Another irony is the untapped knowledge, experience, and creativity of thousands of technical experts now idle from the economically depressed oil and gas industry that could be put to work developing new and better ways to extract the heat energy available in familiar areas of the conventional oil patch.
Besides the recognition problem that exists, another is the policy gap. Few jurisdictions in Canada have set up regulations or tax incentives to allow a geothermal energy industry to move forward. The media and politicians are mostly unaware of the vastness and opportunity of this facet of renewable energy, despite the desperate search for replacement solutions to replace coal, oil and gas as sources of heat and electricity.
One hopes that the Alberta government will include incentives and research funds to develop our geothermal energy resource in its Climate Leadership Plan and the Alternative and Renewable Energy Plan. Several government agencies are currently reviewing various sources of power. For example, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is seriously evaluating the potential of geothermal power generation. As well, Alberta Innovates, via its subsidiary C-FER Technologies, has a current research team looking into Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). These high level agencies will help lead the way to increased use of geothermal energy in Alberta.
In the past, Alberta engineers and scientists have been very successful in developing technologies capable of extracting heavy oil from shallow-depth formations and bitumen from near-surface sandstone. These techniques, including SAG-D, steam injection, and oil-sands mining have been exported and utilized in many parts of the world. The new opportunity facing our creative scientific minds is to find ways to exploit geothermal brine waters for heat and power extraction. Many of the standards and designs used in high temperature, steam-assisted hydrocarbon extraction can also be used in geothermal water wells. Based on past experience in the unconventional oil and gas business, Alberta could become a leader, not a follower, in developing ways to utilize the geothermal resource beneath our feet.
What seems to be needed is a government-sponsored pilot project or a commercial venture that attempts to generate electricity and exploit geothermal heat in western Canada. Several companies, including Borealis GeoPower and Raven Thermal Services, have small commercial projects under development. Several small communities are also looking at geothermal resources to provide space heating and energy for new industries in their jurisdictions.
Are we on the cusp of recognizing and developing a new, green source of energy in Alberta? Many indicators point to a definite Yes. A new carbon tax to be imposed starting in 2017 will only increase broader interest in this resource.
If you want to get in touch with Rick, please contact email@example.com and we will forward your request.
CanGEA's chair Alison Thompson and CanGEA member Craig Dunn from Borealis GeoPower have been featured in an "albertaviews" article. The article focuses on Alberta's geothermal potential and the possible technology transfer from the oil/gas industry. In addition to this, the article also discusses geoexchange potential in and around of Calgary, AB.
“Alberta is the biggest geothermal producer in the world, but we throw it all away.” - Alison Thompson
To read the full article, please click here.
Iceland has been a long standing geothermal superpower since the 1970’s. In that time, Iceland has evolved and expanded their geothermal applications and now set the world example for how to efficiently and dynamically use geothermal resources. From large scale power production to greenhouses surrounding Reykjavik, the range of applications leaves nothing to waste.
Upon returning from the International Geothermal Conference in Iceland, Canadians who took part in the trip left asking why Canada has not made the same strides in shifting our energy policies towards geothermal energy. With a large amount of readily available resources and a well equipped workforce, it seems like it may be time that Canada takes an example from Iceland and the 24 other countries around the world already using using geothermal energy production. At the very least Canada should be exploring geothermal options to co-produce or utilize the heat from the 400,000+ orphan oil/gas wells that are already suitable for secondary geothermal application.
To read Hamish Stewart's full article from the National Observer click here
Alberta has been the energy powerhouse in Canada for decades, but after the significant drop in oil prices, 100,000 out of work, and devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray, can it continue to be so in an economy that is carbon-constrained? With considerable geothermal energy potential in Alberta, and 400 000+ existing wells throughout the province, development of geothermal resources would help accelerate Canada into a sustainable energy future. Around the world places such as Nevada, Iceland and New Zealand are already well established in developing innovative and renewable projects that require no dams, emissions or risky new technology. Alberta has the potential to continue to be the energy powerhouse in Canada but Albertans and policy-makers need to recognize that the future will not look like the past.
To check out the full article from The Tyee click here