Ever heard of geothermal heat?
If you’ve ever been to hot springs, you’ve probably experienced Earth’s natural hot tub, but did you know that geothermal heat can be used as renewable energy?
Valemount, British Columbia is a mountain village located along the Rocky Mountains. The town has big plans for Canoe Reach hot springs – which boasts one of the hottest surface hot springs in Canada.
However, Canoe Reach may serve a bigger purpose than merely a hot spring destination for tourists.
Borealis Geopower, a company working with the Valemount community, plans utilize the past forestry town and create a geothermal industrial park in its place.
As stated on their website, Borealis Geopower says, “the GeoPark project brings British Columbia and all of Canada a step closer to becoming more sustainable.”
“The GeoPark is also capable of supplying Valemount and its businesses with green heat instead of relying on trucked in propane. This allows our projects to energize local businesses, build sustainable communities and support local food opportunities.”
So how exactly will it work?
With the hot springs just a stone’s throw from Valemount, the heat source is very close to the Earth’s surface, making it an ideal area to generate electricity.
The electricity then could be fed back into the provincial grid, reducing the impact this project will have on the land, and therefore having a smaller environmental footprint.
Ever looked into environmental footprints? We each have an impact on the environment around us, and when looking at our individual ecological footprint (you can figure out yours here), it’s scary to think about the damage a town as a whole can do to the land around it.
By reinventing the way we use natural sources of heat and energy, geothermal parks become a more sustainable option since they can provide “base-load electricity production even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing”, according to the Huffington Post.
Just like oil and gas options, geothermal requires drilling, which Borealis Geopower has been granted the permit to do.
With this project comes an even bigger hope: a 15-megawatt power plant plan that will send power to the BC Hydro grid.
Utilizing heat sources for energy can lead to many community projects aside from the typical power supply options. Borealis shares some of its ideas on their website, which include greenhouses, brewing applications and even plans to ensure sidewalks will never freeze – even in cold enough temperatures.
Introducing a new way of powering a community could lead to many environmentally safe jobs, and create a village of geothermal energy that will significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
The only hurdle standing in the way is funding. Of course, drilling is very expensive, and until Borealis Geopower has the finances in place, the geothermal village remains a mere blueprint.
You can invest in the future of geothermal energy. Check out the website for more details on how you can contribute to a sustainable future in British Columbia.
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