Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Canada: Abandoned New Brunswick Mine to Provide Geothermal Heating and Cooling for Community

Light at the end of the tunnel: Sussex eyes mine shaft for geothermal (CBC News)

Old mine could hold valuable reservoir for use as a renewable energy source

PotashCorp's original mine at Penobsquis has been capped and allowed to slowly to fill with water.

But according to the town's economic development coordinator, that water — continuously pumped from the mine shaft from the late 1990s until its closure in 2015 — could play an unexpected role in the town's energy future.

"The Penobsquis mine holds the potential to hold a large reservoir, seven kilometres long, that we can tap into," said Bill Thompson, economic development coordinator for the Town of Sussex.

Mine shaft geothermal involves drawing water from a disused mine shaft that descends hundreds of metres below the surface. Water is then cycled through heat pumps on the surface, thereby "extracting heating or cooling," according to Thompson. The water temperature hovers consistently between 18 and 20 Celsius, 64-68 degrees Fahrenheit.