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Proposed geothermal district heating project in Alberta could be Canada’s first

City of Hinton, Alberta, Canada (source: flickr/ Dean Lack, RPAP, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 19 Feb 2017

A recently presented pre-feasibility study, highlights the potential for a proposed geothermal district heating system in the city of Hinton, in Alberta/ Canada and possibly the first such system in the country.

At a recent meeting, initial results of a pre-feasibility study for a geothermal district heating project in the city of Hinton, in Alberta/ Canada were presented.

The combination of geothermal heating and a district heating system could be the first in Canada. Located in west-central Alberta, Canada, the city of Hinton is located in Yellowhead County, 81 kilometres northeast of Jasper and about 284 kilometres west of Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton.

With more than 100 wells already drilled in the exploration for oil, there are enough wells to select from. The location is rather promising with hot water being found at deep levels under the city.

Samples of the recent pre-feasibility study were taken from existing wells in the area. According to Tim Gunderson, the CFO of Epoch Energy Development, the project would be a “deep geothermal project, utilizing wells deeper than 3,000 metres. There are two possible systems being proposed, one using one well to pump water up and down, and another using twinned wells — one to pump up and one to inject down. In either case, it is a closed system and only water is being exchanged.”

Now the economics of the project will have to be explored to see if it could save the city energy costs. But with a local resource, the price for operating a geothermal project on site, would be stable unlike fluctuating prices of the energy market.

The project could start small and then be expanded and could include biomass and sewer gas.

Source: Hinton Parklander