Canadian Consulting Engineer

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CanNor invests in geothermal energy feasibility study for Nunavut

Cleantech Canada Energy News CanNor diesel electricity geothermal IDEANorth Infrastructure QEC waste heat storage

A renewable source would diversify the territory's energy mix.

Nunavut geothermal prefeasibility study

Image courtesy Canadian Geothermal Energy Association.

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) has promised more than $1.2 million in federal funds over three years to support a study of the potential for geothermal energy in Nunvaut.

Encompassing three communities, the study aims to determine the feasibility of the alternative, renewable energy source to reduce the territory’s carbon footprint and diversify its energy mix. This investment will support Qulliq Energy Corporation (QEC), the sole generator and distributor of electrical power in the territory, which conducted a prefeasibility study in 2018 (pictured).

“Geothermal energy is one of the few environmentally friendly options to supply power reliably and on demand,” says Craig Simailak, federal minister responsible for QEC. “It is incumbent on QEC to investigate this potential in Nunavut.”

Specifically, the project will assess the potential of geothermal energy and the feasibility of waste energy storage in Bayer Lake and use electronic geophysical surveys to access deep subsurface conditions in Baker Lake, Cambridge Bay and Resolute Bay. The results of these initial assessments will inform preliminary research design and cost estimates for future project phases.

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Currently, the electrical needs of Nunavut’s 25 communities are met by importing diesel fuel, which leaves families and businesses vulnerable to significant and fluctuating costs of fuels and also contributes to pollution.

“By investing in clean energy research, we are taking steps to help Canada reach net-zero emissions by 2050,” says Daniel Vandal, federal minister of northern affairs, CanNor and Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan).

Funding for the project comes from CanNor’s Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth) program, which supports economic growth and sector development, business scale-up, productivity, innovation, small-scale economic infrastructure development and foundational economic infrastructure.

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