by Andru McCracken
It’s been a long road, but things are heating up for Borealis GeoPower. They have a plan to produce power using geothermal energy near Valemount.
Last week the BC Oil and Gas Commission gave them permission to start drilling four thermal gradient wells.
This is the BC Oil and Gas Commission’s first geothermal resource well authorization.
The commission was only recently made the provincial regulator of geothermal resources.
The Geothermal Resources Act governs development and use of geothermal resources that are 80 degrees Celsius and above.
Their first drilling site has been checked by Simpcw First Nation who looked for cultural and archaeological material.
Borealis GeoPower’s CEO Alison Thompson said that her team members were in Valemount on Monday for an Emergency Response Plan meeting with their contractors.
“Drilling will commence shortly after that,” she said.
“We not only drill into mountains, but by working together, we also move them, and Borealis is deeply committed to our team and host community.”
Borealis GeoPower recently won a $1.5 million dollar grant from the federal government to show how geothermal power development could help remote communities switch off of diesel generators and create economic returns and use geothermal heat to cultivate associated industries and sustainable economic development.
The grant went towards purchasing three Climeon generating units which can affordably turn minimal differences in temperature into power.
The project is the first of its kind in Canada, and if successful Valemount could be home to Canada’s first geothermal power plant and a model for other sites in Canada.
Most other countries on the Pacific ring of fire have developed their geothermal resources.