Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada: Direct Use of Abandoned Mine for Geothermal Heating

Canadian innovations continue to shape the future of energy (National Energy Board)

To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation, here are a few innovative ways that Canadians have shaped, and continue to shape, the energy industry.

Springhill Mine Water Geothermal

In the mid-1980s, the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia began exploring the potential of nearby mines as a source of geothermal heating. After many years of abandonment, the mines had filled with water, which was heated naturally by the earth to about 18 degrees Celsius.

By 1994, eight local users, including a large plastics manufacturing facility, were drawing on the mine water to feed their heat pumps for space heating. 

The Springhill project was among the first industrial sites in the world to demonstrate the viability of mine water geothermal energy, and this technology is now also being used in countries around the world, including the U.S., the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany.