Geothermal Energy Potential Discussed in Terrace

John Crawford

Skeena's MLA says he's glad to see a renewal of interest in the potential of geothermal power generation.

Ellis Ross was commenting on a presentation in Terrace last Friday, but consulting engineer Thorleikur Johannesson from Iceland.

[Icelandic engineer Thorleikur Jóhannesson during geothermal energy presentation in Terrace - Dec 6 2019]

Ross says there was a fair bit of interest in geothermal energy in BC about 12 years ago, and then it seemed to disappear.

"But I think given what I  heard here, the room was actually excited about it -- what are we doing provincially, federally, politically; how do we get  some of this technology to reduce our emissions in places like Valemount, and in places where they're still burning deisel fuel to generate electricity for small communities," he said.

Valemount mayor Owen Torgerson agreed, saying his community could benefit.

"That would not only provide a stable electrical power source for our village but we have been labelled as having the worst air quality in the province due to wood smoke emissions, so that would actually increase our air quality, increase our health of our residents by having an alternate form of heat," he said.
Terrace City Councillor Brian Downie said there would be hurdles to cross, but it's an idea worth investigating, adding "this does show the opportunities, and for something that works in Iceland, also works in Beijing, it's something that we should be looking at."

He credited the Kitselas First Nation for bringing the idea forward, saying they've been exploring the potential of geothermal power generation.

[Reported by Robert Pictou]

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