Northern Alberta Geothermal Potential Mapping Report
In December 2017, the NADC provided grant funding to the Alberta Community and Co-Operative Association (ACCA) to conduct a feasibility study on the geothermal energy potential in northern Alberta. ACCA contracted Terrapin Geothermics Inc. to conduct a high-level geothermal resource evaluation for a representative sampling of 42 northern Alberta communities.
The project created location-specific research reports that provide high-level technical overviews of geothermal resource potential, considering both the potential temperatures to be found and unique geological considerations in the targeted communities.The research identifies three types of potentially viable projects: power production, direct use, or direct heat.
Findings from the report include 42 northern Alberta communities demonstrate potential for geothermal activities; 31 northern Alberta communities have suitable temperatures and basic geological factors to support further investigation into direct use opportunities; and, 12 northern Alberta communities contain suitable temperatures and geological factors to support further investigation into power generation.
The information has potential to identify further exploration and development in northern Alberta, and could inform future feasibility and early investment decisions.
The report, including the individual assessments for each of the studied communities, is available for use by planners, economic development officers, municipalities, industry, and community groups interested in the geothermal potential in their regions.
While there is growing stakeholder interest in this topic, it is worth noting that the requisite regulatory framework for wide-spread geothermal energy development is not in place yet. Alberta Energy is working on this, and for now, projects are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The partnership with ACCA and the resulting Geothermal Potential Mapping Project, is an outcome of the Energizing the North Seminars hosted by the NADC in 2017.The Community Energy Cooperative Toolkit, produced by the ACCA for the Seminars, defines renewable community energy, highlights several renewable energy funding programs, defines the types of cooperatives, provides the four developmental stages of community energy cooperatives, and offers community energy case studies.