November 03, 2017 Data sharing project highlights geothermal potential for southern BC
Mount Meager, southern BC - November 3, 2017 - A new Geoscience BC project to share historical data about geothermal heat and power potential at Mount Meager has been released today.
The information, which is available on the Geoscience BC website www.geosciencebc.com can be used by First Nations leaders, experts, governments and others to better understand the characteristics of the rock types and subsurface geological structures that might contain geothermal resources. This is essential for assessing the viability of geothermal energy and heat ('direct use') in the area north of Whistler.
Geothermal researchers have been working in the Mount Meager area since the early 1970s, but their findings have never all been available in one place -- and much of it was not accessible to the public. The information provided by Geoscience BC today shares and links to raw data, maps, and reports from companies, government agencies, researchers and students who have worked in the area.
Commenting on the project, Geoscience BC Vice President of Energy Carlos Salas said: "To date BC has not realized its potential for geothermal power, even though we know that potential is significant. It is important that everyone can access good information so that we can all make appropriate and balanced decisions about future development."
There is also commercial interest in the area. Geothermal expert Dr. Mory Gomshei, who is involved with Geotec and Tecto Energy's potential joint Pebble Creek geothermal project at North Meager said: "Extensive geophysical and geochemical studies, and data from core holes show that the Meager Resource can potentially produce up to 1000MW of power.
"Over 500MW of green power can be generated from the Pebble Creek prospect area alone in a commercially viable manner. This would be base load -- it can generate the electrical power needed to satisfy this minimum demand -- and, in comparison with large hydro projects may have lower capital costs and a much smaller footprint."
The information shows that fractures in the area's volcanic rocks contain groundwater heated to over 200 degrees Celsius and, since the 1970s, six deep wells and about 30 core holes have been drilled to assess commercial viability. Technical work during the 1980s even included the installation and running of a small demonstration 250 kw electrical generator.
This is the latest in a series of Geoscience BC projects to inform and accelerate geothermal development in BC. This has included mapping the province's 'hotspots' and producing a guide for communities considering using geothermal for heat or power.
A description of the data collation project with links to reports and documents can be found on the project page. Reports and data can be accessed through Geoscience BC's free online Earth Science Viewer mapping application.
About Pebble Creek (North Meager)
Geotec and Tecto are two BC-based companies that hold geothermal rights in the Pebble Creek area and plan to tap into the resource by installing the first Canadian geothermal power plant within the next few years.
About Geoscience BC
Geoscience BC is an independent, non-profit organization that generates earth science information in collaboration with First Nations, local communities, governments, academia and the resource sector. Our independent earth science enables informed resource management decisions. Geoscience BC gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.