Springhill controls its geothermal destiny

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Province clears way for municipal geothermal program

SPRINGHILL – The province is helping Springhill grow its economy, use clean, efficient energy, and reduce harmful emissions by opening the way for a municipal geothermal program - the first in Nova Scotia.

The province has given the Town of Springhill permission to run its own geothermal program, which will provide underground water as an efficient energy source.

"We are ensuring that the people of Springhill benefit from a clean energy resource that is readily available and efficient," Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar said Wednesday. "We are working to create jobs for contractors, geothermal technicians, and others by helping Springhill bring forward its geothermal program for property owners and businesses."

Skabar made the announcement for Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker

Springhill is benefitting from its coal mining heritage, because of old mine workings and the estimated 49 billion litres of water they contain.

The geothermal heat from the Earth is absorbed by water in the mines, and due to the great mine depths, water temperatures are as much as 11 C higher than normal groundwater temperatures.

The heated water is extracted at the surface to buildings and the water returned below ground to be reheated by natural processes.

"The geothermal resources, particularly mine water, offer an enormous renewable and sustainable green energy source for the Town of Springhill and the Municipality of Cumberland," said Springhill Mayor Maxwell Snow. "The special lease will allow the town, in conjunction with its energy partners, the ability to control, develop and promote the geothermal resource, possibly as a utility, that will benefit the entire province financially and environmentally."

The province is committed to exploring alternative energy sources and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.

 

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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