New geothermal heating using mine water considered in New Brunswick, Canada

Downtown, Sussex, NB, Canada (source: commons/ wikimedia - CC BY-SA 3.0)
Alexander Richter 23 Mar 2018

With a flooded abandoned potash mine, the municipality of Sussex in New Brunswick/ Canada is working on a possible geothermal heating project utilising the mine water.

Struggling economically after the closure of the Picadilly potash mine in Sussex, New Brunswick, discussions on a possible use of the mine for utilising geothermal energy are bringing some hope, as reported by CBC.

Next week, town officials will be holding a public meeting to discuss the results of a feasibility study commissioned in July 2017 into the energy possibilities of the mine.

When the mining activities ceased in 2016, the mine was flooded. With the mine flooded this water, now heated through geothermal energy, could be derived and used for economic development purposes.

The feasibility study sees the best solution in generating heat through an “open loop” geothermal system, which would involve directly extracting the hot water, drawn through a pipe. Which – once used – would be injected back into the mine.

The first business that could take advantage of the heat and this is a 20-acre greenhouse, “with a supplemental boiler and 10 refrigeration warehouses year-round”, according to the study.

The likely investment of the town will have to be around C$11.3 million (US$8.75 million), but the project would pay for itself within seven years. More than half of the investment or C$5.7 million (US$4.4m) would be going to the delivery system for the energy.

The town will hold a meeting, March 26, 2018, details here.

Source: CBC