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Mapping the geothermal potential for Northern Alberta, Canada

Smoky River Valley, Northwestern Alberta, Canada (source: flickr/ Jason Hollinger, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 18 Mar 2019

As part of a wider work on developing a geothermal policy for the Province of Alberta in Canada, a report has been released that maps the geothermal potential for small communities in Northern Alberta.

In December 2017, the Northern Alberta Development Council (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.

The final report released in February 2019 can be downloaded here (pdf).

Source: Northern Alberta Development Council