Calgary-based Borealis Geopower has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Valemount Community Forest to develop a geothermal industrial park in Valemount.
According to the Rocky Mountain Goat, the Valemount Community Forest’s Cedarside property sits outside Valemount’s perimeter, meaning that it is zoned as M3 land and only needs a building permit to proceed with the development of a geopark, while the project itself would likely be run by the Community Forest or Valemount Geothermal Society (VGS).
Last month, non-profit Geoscience B.C. released its “Direct-Use Geothermal Roadmap”, a comprehensive guide for communities and businesses to help evaluate and develop local geothermal energy projects to stimulate economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Vice president of energy for Geoscience B.C. Carlos Salas told the Rocky Mountain Goat that Valemount is one of the top contenders among 63 “stand-out” communities with geothermal potential, adding, “I mean this in the nicest way possible. If Surrey can do it, anywhere in B.C. can do it.”
Surrey powers its city hall and adjacent buildings with direct-use geothermal energy despite being located in a less than ideal geothermal area.
The other sites with the highest weighted ranking included: Clarke Lake south of Fort Nelson, Sloquet Creek, 93 km northwest of Whistler, Lakelse Lake between Terrace and Kitimat, Canoe Creek, Valemount in the Cariboo, Jedney Creek north of Fort St. John, Meager Creek/Pebble Creek north of Whistler, Okanagan, Kootenay area, Lower Arrow Lake near Castlegar, Mt. Cayley, 45 km north of Squamish, and Mt. Garibaldi, 80 km north of Vancouver near Squamish.
The Valemount geothermal industrial park is currently in planning stages, with participation from Borealis Geopower, Valemount Community Forest (VCF), the Valemount Geothermal Society (VGS), the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the Village of Valemount.
Borealis Geopower was founded in 2007, with the stated aim of unlocking Canada’s geothermal energy potential, which it estimates should generate 310 MW of cumulative generation capacity of low cost, stable, reliable and dispatchable power.
Borealis was in Valemount in April pitching the idea of a “super fund”, or a joint program between Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, of Alberta.
Also in April, representatives of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CANGea) found themselves in Reykjavik, attending the Iceland Geothermal Conference, and touring that country’s comprehensive exploitation of its geothermal resources.