CanGEA | Canadian Geothermal Energy Association



Borealis - Canoe Reach (Valemount Property)

Borealis plans are to proceed with the development of the property, culminating in commissioning a geothermal power plant. This is an endeavour with a wealth of interested parties and stakeholders.  Borealis is currently in the process of working towards identifying the relevant geothermal potential of the 3 permit areas and converting them from 1 year development permits into multi-year development leases. We are very pleased to be able to move forward with geothermal energy development in British Columbia and want to thank our key stakeholders in the Valemount Area for all their support.

Filed under: Electricity Generation

A full listing of all Canadian Projects

Canadian Governments, both provincial and federal, have intermittently supported geothermal resource development for over 100 years. The first such projects supported through government initiatives related to direct use applications such as hot springs along the Canadian western railroad dating back to the late 1800s. As the railroad progressed west several naturally occurring hot springs were discovered and subsequently developed into world renowned tourist attractions. For much of the 20th century the focus would remain on developing hot springs for direct use.

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Filed under: Electricity Generation, High Temperature Direct Use

Knight Inlet, BC

Filed under: Electricity Generation

Pebble Creek Property

Old temperature and lithological data from slim holes were recently integrated in a GIS database (consisting of most recent geological,  geochemical and topographic data). Temperature models were created to delineate the geothermal up-flow zone and to assess the extent of the high-enthalpy reservoir, accessible from the permit areas.

Temperature gradient models (Fig. 2) were extrapolated to a depth of 3000m. The temperature model at 2500 m was considered for calculating the extent of the high-enthalpy geothermal power reserve. The minimum high enthalpy reserve was estimated based on the extent of the highenthalpy zones (above 230°C) accessible at an average depth of 2500 m. The extent of the high enthalpy zones is estimated to be at least 10 square kilometres.

The total high-grade heat energy convertible to power is conservatively estimated above 55 million Megawatt hours of electricity, which can support a 230 MWe generating capacity for 30 years.

Temperature data obtained from old slim holes conform with recent geothermometric data obtained from analysis of Pebble Creek hot springs. Presence of permeability is evidenced by observed primary and fracture permeability in slim holes (Nevin, 1992).

Deep confirmatory drilling is scheduled to commence in the fall of 2009. The project is expected to bring its first 100 MWe on line by 2012. A 230 kV line is needed to tie the Meager Creek South and North (Pebble Creek) geothermal fields in to the B.C. Transmission Corp. system. Preliminary studies have identified two potential routes utilizing existing transportation corridors - the Pemberton Valley to tie-in at Pemberton, and the Birkenhead Valley to tie-in at Poole Creek. The Pemberton Valley line which is the most likely corridor is about 60 km (connecting the Meager fields to a BCTC junction in the City of Pemberton).

Filed under: Electricity Generation

Takhini Hot Springs

The main minerals are calcium, magnesium and iron. The iron gives the water a red or brown hue. There are two connected pools. The water flows naturally into the pool at 340 litres per minute at 40ºC (104ºF). It gradually cools to about 35ºC  at the outflow. The pool is drained and scrubbed once every 24 hours.

The water is comfortable for all ages, in all seasons. The maximum depth of the hotter pool is 1.2 metres while the other pool is 2 metres at the centre.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Ahousat Hot Springs

The spring water is clear and tasteless, with just a faint smell of sulphur, and maximum temperature of 25ºC (77ºF).

A non-maintained historic route connects the warm springs to the broad sandy beaches at Whitesand Cove. The park and hot springs lie in the traditional territory of the Ahousat First Nations, and is only accessible by air or by boat from Tofino.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Hot Springs Cove

This tidal action also flushes the pools twice daily, so they are always noticeably clean. The spring water is very hot (47ºC, 117ºF), and is clear with just a faint smell and taste of sulphur.

This soothing, natural wonder is open year-around and is accessible only by air or by sea (one-hour water taxi ride from Tofino). The hotsprings are reached by an easy hike on a 2 km attractive wooden boardwalk trail from the dock. Hot Springs Cove is a refreshing stop for kayakers paddling through the Flores and Vargas Islands, and for those seeking a less strenuous visit, accomodation can be sought at a nearby lodge operated by the Hesquiat First Nations.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Hotsprint Island (Gandla’kin)

There are at least a dozen springs and seeps on Hotspring Island, with three spring-fed natural hot tubs carved into volcanic rock.

Gwaii Haana National Park is administered jointly by Parks Canada and the Haida Nation, and Hotspring Island is one of five areas in the park supervised by Haida watchmen. Camping is not permitted on Hotspring Island, and the island is closed to pets.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Iskut River Hot Springs

Several springs are present but no pools are available for bathing. The Iskut River Hot Springs, in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, are protected by the Iskut River Hot Springs Provincial Park. The smal 4 hectare park is located approximately 100 km south of the community of Iskut, 15 km northeast of Bob Quinn and 6 km west of the Stewart Cassiar Highway 37. Access to the park is very limited. Foot access is difficult and there is no developed trail. Helicopter and boat access are possible.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Mount Layton Hot Springs

Visitors and locals enjoy the therapeutic value of the natural non-sulphur mineral water, which is treated with an ozone system, the first by a public pool in Canada. There are four therapeutic pools and waterslides. The main pool (temperature 30ºC/90ºF) has a large swimming area, a diving pool, and a roped off wading pool for the younger guests. Relief from rheumatism, arthritis, and skin aliments may be provided by a soak in the therapeutic mineral water in the Hot Tub Pool (41ºC/105ºF).

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Liard Hot Springs

The hot springs complex is of national ecological significance and is well known for its natural setting in a luch boreal spruce forest. Due to continual inflow of warm water, the swamps never freeze in winter, despite being extremely shallow and located at a latitude of nearly 60º north. The first written recording of the hot springs on the Liard River was made in 1835 by Robert Campbell of Hudson's Bay Company. Following Campbell's exploration, the Liard River was used as a trading route to the Yukon, but was abandoned in 1870 as the rapids along the upper Liard River were too treacherous.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Skookumchuck Hot Springs/ St. Agnes Well Hot Springs

There is a private campground, shelters and soaking tubs available to the public. A modest user fee is charged. The undeveloped hot springs are situated on private property, but permission to enjoy the springs is generously granted by the Tretheway family.

The Skookumchuck Hot Springs are open year round and can be busy on summer weekends as St. Agnes Well is a popular weekend destination for Vancouver residents.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Meager Creek Hot Spring

The spring is maintained by the BC Forest service, with a nominal entrance fee. The Meager Creek is one of the most unstable valleys in BC, and has been the site of a number of dangerous landslides, normally during heavy rains or soon after a serious deluge. The site was easily accessible by road from Vancouver and Whistler, however road conditions should be checked before visiting the site as the road is frequently washed out by mudslides.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Harrison Hot Springs

The mineral rich hot springs at Harrison were originally used by the Salish Coast Natives who revered them as a "healing place", arriving by canoe to benefit from their rejuvenating waters. The minerals waters are said to bring relief to sufferers of rheumatism and arthritis through the 8 minerals present in the water, which averages 1,300 parts per million of dissolved mineral solids, one of hte highest concentrations of any mineral spring.

There are two hot springs at the south end of Harrison Lake, the Potash, with a temperature of 40 C (120F), and the Sulphur, with a temperature of 65º C (150º F). The Harrison Hot Springs resort boasts 2 indoor and 3 outdoor mineral pools. The indoor sitting pool is cooled to a temperature of 38º - 40ºC (100º-103ºF), an ideal temperature for promoting the relief of general aches and stress, and the larger indoor pool is maintained at the temperature of 32ºC (90º F). In the outside adult swimming pool the hot spring waters are piped from the source and cooled to 32º  - 35ºC ( 90-95º F). For alternatively able people, there is a second outdoor hot springs pool, also kept at 35ºC (95ºF), with a gently sloping ramp that provides access to the pool, and a bench that follows the edges inside the pool.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Ram Creek Hot Springs

with an average temperature range from 30ºC to 35ºC (86ºF to 95ºF). The pools are not accessible by vehicle during the winter months - snowmobile or cross-country skis required.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Lussier Hot Springs

The bottom pool alongside the Lussier river offers the coolest water, at about 34 C(94 F) in summer. The rock pools can accommodate several people at a time. They are popular during summer and tend to be crowded on weekends, except early in the morning. Lussier Hot Springs are non-commercial, and regular patrols are made by Provincial Park Rangers. Visitors are asked to please help keep this wild land hot spring clean. The park is open year round unless inaccessible due to weather conditions, especially during the off-season.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Renowend for their therapeutic qualities, Fairmont claims their pools to almost certainly be the cleanest in North America. At night the pools are drained, scrubbed, and refilled by morning with fresh, mineral-rich natural hot springs water and over 1.5 million gallons of mineral - rich hot springs waters flow through the pools daily. For a more hot spring rustic experience without the admission fee charged at the resort, soak in one of the three small tubshoused in seperate rooms in the undeveloped Historical Baths, an old stone bath house on a knoll directly above the resorts main parking lot. A little farther up the hill from the bathhouse, also known as "The Indian Baths", a small two-person pool has been created where a spring emerges from the ground.

The recorded history of Fairmont Hot Springs dates to the early 1800s when explorers discovered the 'land of smoking waters'. and the curative power of these warm mineral waters. The name Fairmont Hot Springs was given to the area by Mrs. John Galbraith, wife of a ferry operator at Galbraith's Landing near Fort Steele.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Canyon Hot Springs

Water from the spring is piped almost 2 miles down the valley side to feed the 15,000 gallon hot pool and the 60,000 gallon swimming pool. The mineral waters of Albert Canyon were allegedly discovered by CPR workman at the turn of the century. The railway employees dug a pit at the hot springs and lined it with heavy timbers.

The open air "hot tub" was used by visitors and residents for many years. Today the Canyon Hot Springs are some distance away, with the water from the hot springs being piped to the pools. The Albert Canyon "ghost" town remains a short distance south of the present pool site.

The village of Albert Canyon, the gorge, the peaks and the hot springs were all named for Albert Rogers, nephew of Major Rogers, who undertook mnay exploration trips in the area, including the discovery of Rogers Pass.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Halcyon Hot Springs

Halcyon offers 4 pools of differing temperatures: a Hot Pool (40º C/104º  F), a Warm Pool (38ºC/100º F), a Large Mineral Pool (30ºC / 87º F), and a Cold Plunger (13ºC/55º F).

Captain Robert Sanderson, a university educated mechanical engineer who moved to the area in 1885 saw the value of the hot mineral water and in 1890 bought the land from the Crown and constructed a small building and wooden plunges to soak in. He chose the name Halcyon, meaning calm and serene.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Nakusp Hot Springs

You'll find that a difference of even a degree of two in water temperature affects the amount of time your body can tolerate the heat. Sit in the hottest section for a while, then find a patch of snow in which to make a snow angel. There's no cold plunge pool here, just the air, which is equally effective in winter.

The hot water at Nakusp Hot Springs comes out of the earth about 1.5 km from the hot springs building, and is piped down through a 4 inch insulated pipe, which you can see as you take a stroll up there. The temperature at the source is 54.4ºC / 130ºF and certainly too hot for a dip. The water is filtered before it enters the pools, and turns over 3 times in the large (less hot) pool, and 8 times in the smaller (hot) pool.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Ainsworth Hot Springs

The springs originate in the Cody Caves area, which is directly above and to the west of Ainsworth Hot Springs. The water works its way down through porous rock to a depth of 1 1/2 to kilometres. The water picks up temperature at a rate of 40º C per kilometre down until it strikes what is known as the lakeshore fault. This fault is an impervious layer of rock laying at an angle of 45 to 50 degrees from Ainsworth Hot Springs to a point directly below the Cody Caves. Hydraulic pressure forces the water up along the fault where it emerges at Ainsworth Hot Springs.

The caves are old mine tunnels carved out by miners attempting to increase the flow of hot water from the springs. Visitors can explore the cave's tunnels and stalactites, relax on a hot ledge, find the natural hot shower, or have a natural sauna. Ainsworth is open year-round, and is popular with families and local residents wishing to linger in the soothing waters and play in this exhilarating wilderness playground. The pools provide the perfect place to relax and enjoy some of West Kootenay's majestic scenery - the Purcell Mountains and Kootenay Lake.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Springhill Commercial Heating Project

The project, funded in part by the Town of Springhill, made use of deep abandoned coal mines that provided warm water at approximately 18º Celsius in combination with heat pumps to provide heating and cooling for the Ropak Can Am Ltd. plastics manufacturing facility. The project was an overwhelming success yielding energy savings of $45,000 per year, equivalent to roughly 600,000 kWh.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Chilliwack, British Columbia

Fairfield Propagators Ltd. won $1.26 million in funding under the program for a unique demonstration project promoting the use of geothermal energy systems. The 12 - acre greenhouse facility in Chilliwack - the largest lily and chrysanthemum grower in the province - currently uses natural gas and electricity for winter heating and summer cooling, which generates about 2,900 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and costs roughly $500,000 per year. The project will replace the current heating/cooling system with an open-loop geothermal energy heat pump system, using ground water at different temperatures to either heat or cool the buildings minimizing GHG emissions and providing lower- cost energy. The project includes a demonstration component - the Geothermal Technology - Transfer Centre in order to showcase the process for greenhouse growers, businesses and institutions.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Miette Hot Springs

While the springs are perhaps lesser known that those of Banff and Radium they are nonetheless an important part of Canada's hot spring history. Development of the springs dates back to 1913 when the first log bathhouse and sleeping shelter was erected. Subsequent investment led to the construction of full scale pools and a resort in the 1930s as depression unemployment relief project.

Federal project funding is in excess of $10 million in present day value.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Radium Hot Springs

Discovered in 1841, the area has seen progressive development and continued support from both the federal and provincial government. A significant investment of nearly $1 million in 1949 led to the construction and completion of the Radium Aqua Court recreation facility. Since then, the springs have received a number of direct and indirect funds for infrastructure improvements and upkeep of the pools.

Federal and provincial project funding is in excess of $20 million in present day value.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Banff Hot Springs

Shortly thereafter the Canadian Pacific Railroad successfully lobbied the Canadian government to declare the area a National Park, the world's third at that time. Together, the CPR and Canadian government would develop the Banff Hot Springs into a world class tourist attraction. Since its initial development the springs have recieved continued government funding and just recently received an additional $13.8 million to undergo renovations and improvements.

Federal project funding is in excess of $20 million while the area continues to be governed under Parks Canada and the federal governemnt.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

Con Mine Project

The City of Yellowknife with support from the federal government is moving forward with the project and is now in the advanced stages of project engineering and planning. Using the relatively hot thermal resource of the deep mine the city plans to install a district heating system that will greatly reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports for residential and commercial heating. The project will be instrumental in paving the way for similar projects utilizing deep ground source and aquifer thermal resources to provide heat for the surrounding community.

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

The Geothermal Code in the Media

April 17-18th, 2010

CanGEA’s – Canadian Geothermal Energy Association is featured on Business Television (BTV) – Chair and Founder Alison Thompson speaks on the Geothermal Code


Filed under:

ADK/Borealis Geothermal Demonstration Project

What: The ADK/Borealis Geothermal Demonstration Project is an innovative renewable heat and power project for a remote community in Northern Canada. It will consist of a geothermal plant which will deliver a minimum of +/- 1 MWe of electrical power (sufficient for ~750 homes or the entire community) and also +/- 1 MWth of direct heat, sufficient to power a local greenhouse complex for local food production.

This renewable heat and power green energy project will be completely „green‟ and sustainable, with minimal emissions of any air pollutants or GHG‟s, and expected to be indefinitely renewable. This project will demonstrate how a northern community can use a geothermal, “earth heat” resource to generate electricity and heat thereby reducing the entire community‟s fossil fuel demand and reduce energy costs.

Acho Dene Koe First nation (ADKFN) Chief Steve Kotchea and ADKFN Council and Borealis Geopower are very pleased to acknowledge that our ADK/Borealis Geopower Demonstration Project has been selected in response to a call for proposals under the Renewable and Clean Energy portion of the Clean Energy Fund. ADK/Borealis Geopower Demonstration Project funding amount is in the range of $10-20 million.

Who: Borealis GeoPower Inc. is a privately held Canadian company focused on project consulting and development of high temperature geothermal energy projects in the Canadian market.

Established in 2007, Borealis GeoPower has assembled an experienced team of well respected, industry leading players with world class capabilities. Together our extended team has over 130 years of experience working in energy resource development and has managed all aspects of geothermal resource assessment and development. Borealis aims to become the leading private geothermal power consulting business in Canada and help unlock Canada‟s vast geothermal energy potential.

Acho Dene Koe First Nation (ADKFN) is a band government of the Dene people, based in Fort Liard, Northwest Territories, Canada. The ADKFN support renewable energy projects that represent a cheaper source of heat and power, the opportunity to generate new revenue streams, and more control over their own economic circumstances. ADKFN members have great respect for their traditional values and acknowledge the ADK/Borealis Geothermal Demonstration Project as a right step in reduction of GHGs emissions.

Where: The traditional territory of the Acho Dene Koe people spans the border of British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. This heat and power project will be located in community of Fort Liard, Northwest Territories, which is 43 km north of the B.C. – Northwest Territories boundary.

Why: The project sponsors believe that geothermal power is an economically viable, clean, renewable, and plentiful source of power and heat for Northern Canada. The proposed Borealis GeoPower Inc. Calgary, Alberta, Canada hydrothermal demonstration plant will eliminate the CO2 footprint of the current diesel generation facilities.

This project is also a strong fit of our Federal Government‟s goal of providing 90% of Canada‟s electricity through non-emitting sources by 2020. A successful demonstration will provide a model for other Northern and First Nations communities with available geothermal resources. BGP also sees the project as an opportunity to materially contribute to geothermal science research in Canada.

When: Borealis Geopower is interested in moving forward with project development in the coming months. At the outside, the proposed demonstration project will take 3½ years to complete, ensuring a working facility by the end of 2013. We believe that demonstrated success of the geothermal technology is required before broad adoption can commence.

General Comments: Geothermal (or earth heat) energy is a clean, renewable source of both power and heat. It is proven technology that provides baseload (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) power, has low to no emissions and one of the smallest environmental footprints of any power supply. It can be a practical energy solution for an entire generation of Canadians.

Special Thanks: Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, NRCan (Natural Resources Canada) and INAC (Indian & Native Affairs Canada)

If you have any further questions regarding the project, please feel free to contact me directly Craig Dunn, P.Geol
Borealis Geopower
(403) 461 8802

Filed under: Electricity Generation

Borealis Co-Production Project Approved for $2.6m in Funding from AERI

Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), now Alberta Innovates,  has recently approved the “Free Energy/Borealis Geothermal Project” under the Clean Air and Climate Change: Technology and Innovation Program. The project goal is to research the effective utilization of geothermal energy from deep oil and gas wells in the Canadian Foothills for the production of electrical power.


After a rigorous evaluation process dating back to late 2008, Borealis was approved for $2.6 million in project funding and has recently partnered with Free Energy Corp.  This innovative renewable energy project was one of the few geothermal energy projects accepted by the AERI program and Borealis is looking forward to developing the project in the coming months.

For more information about their Co-Produced Fluid Projects please visit the Borealis project site.


Filed under: Electricity Generation

Cape Breton Abandoned Coal Mines: Direct Heat Project

More than two centuries of coal mining in industrial Cape Breton have left an extensive network of underground workings and large areas of disused land. The underground workings are filling with groundwater, and the eastern section of the coalfield is presently flooded beneath the communities of Glace Bay, Dominion and Reserve Mines. This poses treatment and management issues, but it also presents major opportunities for geothermal heating and cooling; using the legacy of 200 years of coal mining to provide a clean renewable source of energy for the people of Cape Breton. The flooded mines contain 250 billion litres of water at an average temperature of 12ºC, which, using modern and highly efficient heat pump technology, represents enough energy to heat and cool every home and building in these three communities.

The corporation is currently working with the province, municipality, the Regional District Health Authority, and the private sector, to ensure that this occurs.  Everyone is hopeful that 2009 will see the first of many mine water geothermal installations in Cape Breton. In coming years, mines under the communities of New Waterford, Sydney Mines and Florence will have access to the same resource and opportunities.

For more information contact:
WCB Case and Corporate Legacy Manager
Cape Breton Development Corporation

Filed under: High Temperature Direct Use

South Meager Geothermal Project, BC

The South Meager project in British Columbia is the most advanced geothermal project in Canada; and one of the sonly geothermal lease in Canada for the production of electricity. The South Meager geothermal area is located approximately 170 km north of Vancouver in undeveloped, mountainous country. The project area is located 55 km northwest of the Village of Pemberton in the Upper Lillooet River watershed. Previously it was identified South Meager as a high temperature geothermal field with measured temperatures up to 275ºC, over an area of 4.5 to 7.5 km².

GeothermEx Inc. of Richmond, California, an internationally recognized authority on geothermal energy, has concluded the South Meager Geothermal Project has the potential to support up to a 100 MW power plant (sufficient to supply electricity to 80,000 households).

Filed under: Electricity Generation

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