Community in Saskatchewan, Canada exploring geothermal for agri-food industrial park
The municipality of Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, Canada has committed to a study to explore geothermal as energy source for an agri-food industrial park for economic development.
As reported locally, the city of Moose Jaw, a municipality in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, is initiating a study to explore the economic benefits of geothermal energy. Near Estevan, a two hour car ride from Moose Jaw, the province already is seeing the development of a geothermal project by developer DEEP Earth Energy Production.
Last month, the city council voted for the economic assessment on the benefits of geothermal and it is expected to present the results of that study in the summer of 2021.
Geothermal energy is seen as a potential tool to grow the local community with a focus on the city’s Agri-Food Industrial Park. While in development, adding geothermal energy as an option could help attract further investors from the agriculture sector, e.g. in the form of greenhouses. It could also heat a manufacturing facility and support the city’s vision of an industrial park around an agriculture value component food production.
The municipality already explored geothermal energy in the 1980s. In 1996, the Temple Gardens Spa was built with a mineral pool heated by geothermal. A historic hotel in downtown Moose Jaw is also benefitting from geothermal energy for heating.
Following the evaluation, a test well could be drilled to explore if the geothermal resources would be sufficiently hot for heating larger buildings and industrial infrastructure.
Steve Halabura, a geoscientists from Saskatoon, and former Chairman of geothermal developer DEEP will be working on the economic assessment of geothermal use. In an interview with CTV News, he said “his work will focus on how much geothermal energy is in the Moose Jaw area and how it can be used.”
“Saskatchewan really is blessed with a wide variety of sources,” Halabura said. “We hear about oil and natural gas, but there’s a lot of other resources that sometimes get overshadowed. I really believe geothermal is one of those resources.”
As other regions with an active oil industry, the local economy has been hard hit and geothermal could provide an opportunity to utilise the know-how and experience to pivot from oil and gas to renewable energy.