By Roy L Hales
Though the provincial government has known about our massive potential since 1983. Two years ago the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) released a report stating British Columbia could develop geothermal for half the cost of hydro. Now, as pipelines and the controversial Site C Dam dominate the headlines, BC’s first geothermal power project could be weeks from drilling.
BC’s First Geothermal Power Project Could Be Weeks From Drilling
Alison Thomson, a director of Borealis GeoPower, explained, “This is a private industry led initiative although the federal government has funded some of our exploration work. This is the first time that geothermal wells have been drilled to serve a nearby customer.”
Borealis plans to build a geothermal industrial park that will initially supply the village of Valemount, in the province’s Robson Valley region, with carbon free heat (substituting for propane gas and diesel). Eventually, GeoPower will also supply the electricity.
“We’ve completed field work in each of 2010-2016 which has aided in the reservoir delineation. We have now chosen our drilling targets and requested drilling permits from the government. We are participating in a private placement to finance the drilling and development of the reservoir,” said Thomson.
Three Phases of Development
The three phases of this project’s development were described on Borealis’ website:
- Griffin GeoHeat Park – Hot Pools, Greenhouse & CO2e Credits – A small-scale, local greenhouse and hot pools will be sustained naturally by the heat of the Earth. Geothermal energy can supply food security, jobs and boost tourism, all while creating CO2 credits instead of paying a carbon tax. We estimate that Phase 1 will generate 1,250 tonnes/yr of carbon credits.
- Cedarside GeoPark – 100 kW of power through the BC Hydro Net Metering Program, 1MW of power through the BC Hydro Community First Nations Standing Offer Program and heat supplied to GeoPark business customers. We estimate that Phase 2 will generate 19,000 tonnes/yr of carbon credits.
- Canoe Reach GeoPower – can sell 15 MW of power production through the BC Hydro Standing Offer program as well as provide ancillary services to BC Hydro for Transmission Grid Support.
“Phase 2 part of the project is expected to be fifteen times larger than Phase 1 and is expected to be located closer to the Village of Valemount. We have several prospective customers that are interested in the larger project,” said Thomson.
Appeal To Potential Investors
She added, “Private Placement equity funding allows investors to participate in an alternate energy that is PIMBY (please in my backyard). Possibly the first energy project, and almost certainly the only current energy project in the province that does not have any public discontent associated with it.”
“We’ve tried to spell out in our opportunity many reasons why this is the right project, for right now. http://borealisgeopower.com/invest/
“It literally takes a Village to bring forth a new energy to the province and country. But once and for all, the question around can geothermal energy be a key part of BC’s fuel and electricity options can be put to rest…in the affirmative we hope. To get there though, we need investors who also believe this is worth proving out.
“The financials are laid out in our investor package that is available online to accredited investor, family, friends and close business associates. We are also offering, once it is built, an annual membership pass to the hot pools/springs intended for the area for current shareholders. We want our investors to have a tangible result for their investment and to be proud to showcase their investment with the community and visitors.”
All photos Courtesy Borealis GeoPower