Join us for an information session on Wednesday, July 27 at 7 p.m. at Three Ranges Brewery with the world renowned geophysics expert Dr. Martyn Unsworth. Dr. Unsworth and his team will be in Valemount this week conducting a magnetotelluric (MT) survey.
This MT survey uses a remote and passive sensing technique to create an image of the rocks of the Rocky Mountain Trench. Dr. Unsworth will be giving attendees an overview of the geophysical survey including how it works, what we hope to discover, and what it means for the Canoe Reach geothermal project.
Enjoy a pint with us, we hope to see you there!
If you would like to read up more on Dr. Unsworth and his work you can view his profile here <http://www.fieldoffice.ualberta.ca/AboutUs/Featured%20Researchers/Martyn%20Unsworth.aspx
July 25, 2016 | Terry Dawes | CanTech Letter
Calgary-based Borealis Geopower has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Valemount Community Forest to develop a geothermal industrial park in Valemount.
According to the Rocky Mountain Goat, the Valemount Community Forest’s Cedarside property sits outside Valemount’s perimeter, meaning that it is zoned as M3 land and only needs a building permit to proceed with the development of a geopark, while the project itself would likely be run by the Community Forest or Valemount Geothermal Society (VGS).
Last month, non-profit Geoscience B.C. released its “Direct-Use Geothermal Roadmap”, a comprehensive guide for communities and businesses to help evaluate and develop local geothermal energy projects to stimulate economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Vice president of energy for Geoscience B.C. Carlos Salas told the Rocky Mountain Goat that Valemount is one of the top contenders among 63 “stand-out” communities with geothermal potential, adding, “I mean this in the nicest way possible. If Surrey can do it, anywhere in B.C. can do it.”
Click here for the link to the full article.
July 20, 2016 | Rocky Mountain News Goat | Evan Matthews
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the proposed geothermal industrial park in Valemount now exists between Borealis Geopower and the Valemount Community Forest.
Alison Thompson, a principal with Borealis Geopower — also the chair and co-founder of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association — says the Community Forest’s interest in the Cedarside property is what makes the site so attractive.
Borealis Geopower is a company working toward enabling geothermal power and heat production as a major player in the Canadian energy market, according to its website.
“We’re trying to work with the players involved to get something off the ground (at Cedarside),” says Thompson. “We know Valemount is an ideal geothermal location.”
In an interview with Silvio Gislimberti, Valemount’s economic development officer, The Goat was told that MOUs are an indication of where things are going, but the agreement is subject to change.
Thompson shared the thought, as she acknowledges the MOU as an indication, but added it’s a legally binding document and a formal agreement.
However, neither would not elaborate on what the MOU actually outlines, only saying, “It’s a private document between two companies.”
What would the ownership breakdown between Borealis and the Village of Valemount actually look like?
Carlos Salas, vice president of energy for Geoscience B.C., says ownership of geothermal energy is the same as any other resource.
Ownership of the resource would depend on who has the rights, Salas says, and ownership of those rights would be outlined on the development permit and tenure system.
However, the Cedarside property sits outside the village’s perimeter, which means any development permit must be applied for through the regional district, according to Valemount’s CAO, Mark Macneill.
Click here to read the full article on the Rocky Mountain News Goat website.
July 21, 2016 | Rocky Mountain News Goat | Evan Matthews
Valemount is an ideal candidate for direct-use geothermal energy, according to a report released by Geoscience B.C. last week, as it suggests the Village of Valemount is at an advanced stage in planning for direct-use geothermal heat.
Geoscience B.C. is a non-profit organization that receives funding from the provincial government, and its mandate it to attract mineral, oil and gas investment to B.C., its website reads.
The report states, “Very few communities in B.C. have considered direct-use geothermal energy,” but Valemount is an exception.
“Valemount is one of the most progressive communities when it comes to geothermal… It is the poster child,” says Carlos Salas, vice president of energy for Geoscience B.C.
“I’m hoping other communities look (here) for advice on how to move forward,” he says.
The study shows 63 “stand-out” communities with geothermal potential —Valemount sits atop that list, as the report states many times — but Salas says a community doesn’t need ideal geothermal conditions to make use of it.
Surrey, B.C., powers its city hall and the adjacent buildings with direct-use geothermal energy in spite being located in a sub-optimum geothermal area, Salas says.
“I mean this in the nicest way possible,” says Salas. “If Surrey can do it, anywhere in B.C. can do it.”
Geothermal shouldn’t be categorically dismissed regardless of area, Salas says, as it has its applications — especially in Valemount — an optimum geothermal area.
Valemount has outlined using direct-use geothermal as an effective way of cutting greenhouse emissions, the report says, and the Village of Valemount has expressed interest in doing pilot projects.
Some of the direct-use applications Valemount has been exploring — aside from heating residential and commercial spaces — include mushroom drying, use of forest products and operation of greenhouses, according to the report.
“Valemount is working along a great path… and probably as close as any community to obtaining geothermal energy,” says Salas. “Borealis is an expert in the field.”
One of the more prominent projects being proposed in Valemount is the geothermal industrial park, and is in the planning stages with Borealis Geopower, Valemount Community Forest (VCF), the Valemount Geothermal Society (VGS), the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the Village of Valemount.
The role of each aforementioned organization in the proposed industrial park remain is uncertain.
“We know Valemount is an ideal geothermal location,” says Alison Thompson, a Principal with Borealis. “It’s about everyone coming and working together for a shared idea.”
Borealis Geopower is an energy developer, a company working toward enabling geothermal power and heat production as a major player in the Canadian energy market, according to its website.
Korie Marshall, president of the VGS, says she agrees with Thompson, and the players all need to come together.
“VCF, the village nor the people who live here have the capacity, knowledge or skills to do what Borealis can do,” says Marshall. “They’ve been researching the heat… and mapping it out.”
Click here to read the full article on the Rocky Mountain News Goat website.
Written by Treena Hein | May 11, 2016 | Greenhouse Canada
June 2016 – In our August edition last year we presented an overview of a few of the new alternative energy projects across the country. This year, we have more exciting news to share, along with some recent updates.
Let’s start with the updates.
Borealis Geopower has now officially partnered with the Village of Valemount, B.C., and the Valemount Community Forest (VCF) to develop a unique renewable energy eco-park that will include greenhouses. Energy from the site, one of Canada’s best-known geothermal hot spots, will be harnessed for heat and potentially also electricity generation.
The location is a 240-acre brownfield site south of the village, recently purchased by VCF. In addition to greenhouses, the “Geo-Park” will feature a brewery, an aquaculture facility and projects relating to eco-tourism and forestry.
Next we go to Policella Farms in Kingsville, Ontario, where Rick Policella provides an update on their 200 kW solar energy project, installed three years ago. Policella Farms is a fourth generation, family-owned grower, packer and shipper of premium greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other specialty products, with another facility in nearby Detroit.
The firm’s solar project includes about 1,050 panels, with 20 invertors that allow them to perform at peak capacity even on days with low light levels. Policella says the system is working well and there have been no headaches. “We did our research ahead of time,” he notes. “We expect to achieve our return on investment within the next two years.” – See more at: http://www.greenhousecanada.com/energy/alternative-fuels/getting-energized-31100#sthash.YBLh68lb.dpuf
Please click here to read the full article on the Greenhouse Canada website.
Korie Marhsall, Editor. June 21, 2016.
Borealis Geopower is considering a crowdfunding campaign to help get a geothermal industrial park, in partnership with the Valemount Community Forest, off the ground. Borealis doesn’t have to crowd fund, they have other options, and it won’t cover all the costs they’ll have for the project. The BC Securities Commission has new rules for start-up crowdfunding, and no one person can invest more than $1,500. There are also limits to how much can be raised with crowdfunding. So when you are talking about half a million dollars to drill core holes, and then another million each for slim holes, that would take over a thousand individual investors putting in the max amount just to get the first slim hole – a daunting task.
Crowdfunding does have some obvious benefits and they are not just financial. But it also has financial costs, which is why the company is still considering if they’ll go that route.
If they do, I intend to invest as much as I can, even if it means taking money off my credit card. I am in no way a financial advisor, but I do recognize taking money off my credit card to invest in a risky project is not sound investment strategy. But I’ll do it anyway, and here is why.
I try to put my money into companies, projects and plans I believe in. I’ve been burned by what other people said was “sound investment practices” before, so if I am going to invest in a start-up, I do it knowing full well there is a chance I will lose all my money. I will take that risk, because I am not in it to make a return on my investment. I’m in it to make a statement about the world I want to live in.
I will do it because I want to tell our provincial and federal government that projects like this are where I want to see money invested. This project has fired the imagination of local people, shows the power of working together, shows the ingenuity and determination of small businesses, and promises to boost local jobs and local food security. And on top of that, it will show the value of heat – heat that doesn’t have to be created with electricity or fossil fuels that are shipped all over the place…
Click here for the link to the full article on the Rocky Mountain Goat News.
Penney Kome, Alberta Views. June 21, 2016.
My favourite garage sale find is a small folk-art sculpture. Bars of beaten copper clasp to form a shimmering triangular tower topped by a pumpjack arm—a tabletop oil derrick. Turn the key on the pumpjack’s wheel and a music box plays “The Impossible Dream.” The pumpjack arm goes up and down but never quite pulls the load from the well.
A lot of Albertans now feel similarly stuck. Our province has a new government and a new climate plan that proposes to change everything, especially for the energy sector. We’re phasing out coal and putting a higher price on carbon. New environmental regulations loom for the energy industry. Oil prices are down sharply as global competitors flood the market. Unemployment is up and corporate revenues are down. Everyone says we must diversify, but no one knows how. A lot of capital is tied up in idle rigs and abandoned wells.
Alberta, however, has the resources, the know-how and the interested parties to create a new energy specialty: geothermal. “To me, this is an exciting opportunity,” says Craig Dunn, the president of Calgary-based Borealis GeoPower. As a geologist, he knows that oilfield wellheads often erupt with brine, oil, gas—and steam. To him that means “Albertans have direct access to the earth’s heat.” What oil companies have long seen as a hazardous nuisance, Dunn’s company sees as a renewable resource that can be turned into a commodity. Already, engineers are retooling oilfield equipment to drill for heat. Even abandoned oil wells can be repurposed for geothermal energy.
Our province also has technical advantages we could sell to the world. Iceland may heat 85 per cent of its buildings with direct geothermal heat, but “they’ve just drilled their first horizontal well,” says Dunn’s colleague Alison Thompson, president of CanGEA, the Canadian Geothermal Association. “We’ve been doing it for years.” Alberta has plenty of drilling rigs on hand, she adds, but “Germany had to build their own.” Another surprising opportunity lies in existing provincial oil well maps, which could reduce geothermal’s exploration expenses, usually one-third of costs.
For the full article, please visit: https://albertaviews.ab.ca/2016/06/21/hot-treasure/
(Calgary, 6 July 2016) – EY is recognizing an impressive group of Prairies entrepreneurs for their financial performance, vision, leadership, personal integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. Today, the firm named 50 finalists across 10 categories in its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Prairies 2016 awards program.“Our entrepreneurs are building a better working world one company at a time,” says Rob Jolley, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Director. “In this region, we are consistently impressed with the calibre of men and women who are leading businesses, driving our economy forward and providing jobs to thousands of people. Our judges have a tough job narrowing down these fantastic stories into winners. We have a top notch group of finalists.”
An independent panel of judges will name winners in a number of diverse categories, and one of the category winners as the overall Prairies winner. That winner will then compete with winners from Québec, Atlantic, Pacific and Ontario for the Canadian Entrepreneur Of The Year title. The Canadian winner will go on to compete with winners from more than 50 countries for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year, in June 2017.
For the full article, please visit (http://www.ey.com/CA/en/Newsroom/News-releases/2016-Prairies-most-disruptive-and-innovative-entrepreneurs-named-finalists-of-the-EY-Entrepreneur-Of-The-Year-program)