Friday, February 7, 2020

Canada: Geothermal District Heating and Direct Use Network Recommended for Abandoned Potash Mine

Geothermal Potential for Sussex Region Powerful (Town of Sussex)

An exhaustive study into the flooded depths of the decommissioned potash mine in Penobsquis has revealed an exciting opportunity to produce geothermal energy for the Sussex area.

It's been three years in the making, a process necessary to uncover the true viability of developing a lower cost, carbon-friendly heating and cooling source that has the potential to grow a region recovering from the loss of its potash mining activity, says Bill Thompson. 

The study concludes the potential is very real, and would take an investment of about $14.4 million. With the savings in heating and cooling costs, it could pay for itself in just under 10 years.

After modelling 20 geothermal scenarios, Vernon Banks, senior hydrogeologist and project manager with Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, determined an open loop system has the most potential. In that process water would be pumped to the surface, run through heat pumps to generate heating and cooling power, and then return below ground after use. The cost savings would be between 40-60 per cent, Thompson pointed out, which in businesses like hatcheries or those that run greenhouses for everything from cannabis to hot house tomatoes, the savings translates into big money.