It is hoped that the commercial-scale geothermal power plant set to be built in the Gold Creek area in the MD of Greenview will bring new industry and new jobs to the area.
The facility, the first of its kind in Canada, was announced on August 23rd. Reeve Dale Smith says bringing the project to the area was about two and a half years in the making.
“It started out with a professor out of U of A doing a geothermal identification saying that we had some good geology that would present itself to geothermal from the Town of Hinton, north. It kind of intrigued us and [we started] seeing where we could make something work.”
While it’s not currently known how many jobs the power plant itself will create, Smith hopes the byproducts made will attract other businesses.
“Besides the power facility, it’s the heat that is generated with it so you know there are secondary industries that we’re hoping will be able to come along and be able to utilize that energy source there and so there are further jobs created.”
The cost of the project is sitting in the $50 million dollar range with it partially being funded by a $25.4 million grant from Natural Resources Canada.
Once the facility is built it is hoped it will generate five megawatts of electricity annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 20,000 tonnes per year.
The facility is a joint project between the MD, Terrapin Geothermics and PCL Construction. Work on the new facility is expected to take about three years.