Moose Jaw Council considering value of geothermal
MOOSE JAW, SASK. -- The City of Moose Jaw will is looking into the economic benefits geothermal technology could bring to the community.
In January, Moose Jaw City Council voted for an economic assessment on the benefits of geothermal energy to be conducted.
The assessment costs around $54,000 and it’s expected to be completed in the summer months.
The mayor of Moose Jaw said it’s important for the city to keep looking for ways to grow the economy.
“It's about creating jobs and creating opportunity and capitalizing on all the resources that we have within our community to to form a stable and healthy economy,” Fraser Tolmie, the Mayor of Moose Jaw, said.
The City is focusing on what geothermal could mean for its Agri-Food Industrial Park which is located southeast of the city.
The park is in its development phase but the city hopes it attracts investors from the agriculture sector.
It said the addition of geothermal technology to the park could be another attraction for some investors.
“It will potentially heat a greenhouse,” Manager of Economic Development for the City of Moose Jaw Jim Dixon said. “It would heat a manufacturing facility and we have a vision of our industrial park being around an agriculture value component food production. So it's really a great fit.”
In the 80s, Moose Jaw explored its geothermal capabilities for the Temple Gardens Spa that was built in 1996. The mineral pool in the spa is heated by geothermal energy.
The historic Grant Hall Hotel located in downtown Moose Jaw is also heated with geothermal.
If the economic assessment goes well, the city would need to dig a test well to see if the water is hot enough to heat large buildings and manufacturing plants.
“We are an agriculture hub,” Dixon said. “We are transportation hub and so these things all fit really well with the vision we have for the park and then to be able to use alternate energy, very friendly energy. For site selector and investor, Moose Jaw is looking pretty good.”
Steve Halabura is a geoscientist based out of Saskatoon and will be conducting the economic assessment for the City of Moose Jaw. He said his work will focus on how much geothermal energy is in the Moose Jaw area and how it can be used.
"Saskatchewan really is blessed with a wide variety of sources," Halabura said. "We hear about oil and natural gas, but there's a lot of other resources that sometimes get overshadowed. I really believe geothermal is one of those resources."
Halabura also feels geothermal can help fill the void in Saskatchewan's economy.
"I believe it offers a pivot from more traditional energy investments," Halabura said. "Oil and gas have suffered a lot. I call it feel-good energy."