The University of Alberta has conducted a study that points to the County of Grande Prairie sitting on enough geothermal energy to power all of their residents.
Terrapin Geothermics and the University of Alberta presented to County Council Monday.
“The potential is there to fuel the whole County,” said Jonathan Banks, Director of Geothermal Energy Research at the University of Alberta. “There is more study that needs to be done, especially on the economic side, to see if it’s worth trying to do that.”
A big reason for further study is the fact geothermal energy is a new concept to the Canadian market.
“Though the geothermal industry is very mature, and it’s been around for a long time, Canada hasn’t done any of it,” explained Ryan Dick, Director of Market Development for Terrapin Geothermics. “Our southern neighbour, the United States, is the biggest geothermal electrical generation country in the world. We’ve just never done it here, so costs are going to be a little more expensive here until we develop the local capabilities.”
Studies will continue to be done and they will continue to work with the County and U of A to determine whether a geothermal district heating facility, or geothermal electricity generation facility, is viable in the County.
Next steps are still to be determined, however, council did pass a motion to look at potential grant funding.