Direct-Use Geothermal Resources in British Columbia

Researcher(s):  C. J. Hickson, G. Huttrer, T. Kunkel, J. Majorowiwicz, R. Yehia, J. Lund, K. Raffle, M. Moore, G. Woodsworth, T. Boyd, L. Hjorth

Report ID:  GBCR 2016-07

Key Research Organization(s):  Tuya Terra Geo Corporation

Focus Area:  Energy-Geothermal

Report Description

Geoscience BC Report 2016-07

Tuya Terra Geo Corporation (TT Geo), a BC-based company, working in collaboration with Geothermal Management Company Inc. (GMC) and their respective teams, were retained by Geoscience BC in September 2015 to identify and evaluate Direct-use geothermal energy opportunities for BC communities, providing them with data and an opportunity to potentially lower greenhouse gas emissions and advance economic development through the use of geothermal energy.

Direct-use geothermal developments can typically utilize lower temperatures waters than required for electrical generation. These lower temperature fluids are more easily attainable with simpler, lower cost exploration strategies in a much shorter time frame than electrical generation development. Additionally, the exploitation of these low temperature geothermal resources can have significant economic benefits for communities. However, communities and local governments may not have access to the expert knowledge required to oversee a geothermal resource exploration program, or the cost of exploration may be a major barrier to wider adoption of Direct-use geothermal energy.

The purpose of this project was to first identify and evaluate Direct-use geothermal energy opportunities for BC communities that have the potential to reduce green-house gas emissions or be economic development drivers. To do this, a review of various Direct-use development possibilities was undertaken and compiled as applicable to BC. The gathering of detailed community information focused on the 11 sites deemed 'favourable' for electrical generation in the KWL and GeothermEx 2015 report. A list of communities associated with these sites was compiled under the assumption that if there was a resource sufficient for electrical generation, then Direct-use (with its lower hurdles to development) was possible. A total of 63 communities were contacted and provided with information about their nearby resource. In this process, the Project sought to give communities and businesses in BC an understanding of what resources are available and what steps they need take to evaluate these geothermal resources. This study did not evaluate the use of heat pumps for ground based geothermal (geoexchange).

The deliverables for this project include a Report as two sections: Section A, Summary of Findings and Section B, Roadmap, with datafiles as excel spreadsheets and a series of compiled GIS shape files. The Direct-use Geothermal Roadmap embodies the information needed by the communities to assist them in pursuing geothermal projects for economic development and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) reductions. This document, along with the resource information gathered by KWL and GeothermEx (2015) and updated by ourselves as part of the GDDM, is crucially important in assisting Communities.

Report Components

Final Report – Section A – Summary of Findings – Contains the report and all appendices (pdf, 6.65 MB)Appendices are also available for separate downloads.

Final Report – Section B – Roadmap (pdf, 8.04 MB)

Data Files:

Suggested References

Tuya Terra Geo Corp.and Geothermal Management Company Inc.(2016): Direct Use Geothermal Resources in British Columbia; Geoscience BC, Report 2016-07.Additional Links

  • Project Page – Contains additional information on the Direct Use Project