BNN profiles Hinton project & interviews Dr. Jonathan Banks
The BNN (Business News Network) recently covered the geothermal situation 'heating up' in Alberta. In the interview with Dr. Jonathan Banks, one of the lead researchers from the U of A that Epoch is working with to help move the project forward, Banks relates the scale of the geothermal resource and how the project intends to develop.
Epoch is developing the Hinton project and will be delivering heat to multiple municipal buildings in the town via a district heating loop. The heat will be come from from hot water found in one of the many oil and gas wells near Hinton. The hot water will be brought to surface where the heat will be stripped from it by a heat exchanger and then transferred to a secondary clean fluid that will circulate through piping laid in a circuit through town. The heat-stripped water pulled from the well will be re-injected back down hole into the same geological formation where it can then become re-heated and used in a sustainable loop.
Beyond heating, there is also great potential for future power production. Dr. Banks mentions that there is an estimated 600MW of high quality geothermal power production potential, and that that only constitutes only about 10% of the required clean power that has been mandated to come online by 2030 to replace the outgoing coal power. Just as importantly is his distinction that geothermal power is baseload, meaning that unlike wind and solar, which don't produce when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine, geothermal's production doesn't vary throughout the day or year but delivers its promised megawatt load consistently.