Minister Vandal announces federal investments in geothermal energy feasibility across Nunavut

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

CanNor funding supports feasibility study examining alternative energy potential in three Nunavut communities

August 9, 2022 – Cambridge Bay, Nunavut – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Geothermal energy is one of many dependable alternative energy sources that can offset reliance on carbon-based energy production in Canada and around the world. As climate change continues to impact Canada’s Arctic, we need to challenge the status quo by exploring renewable energy solutions, such as geothermal energy. This will contribute to keeping Canada’s air cleaner, while ensuring new, sustainable, and reliable energy production in northern communities.

Today while in Cambridge Bay, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister for PrairiesCan and Minister for CanNor, announced federal investments of over $1.2 million over three years, delivered by CanNor, to support the study of Nunavut’s geothermal potential. The study will determine the feasibility for electricity generation and waste heat storage through geothermal means, and has the potential to reduce Nunavut’s carbon footprint and diversify the territory’s energy options.

These investments are a key part of the Government of Canada’s work with Indigenous partners, organizations, businesses and communities in supporting research and long-term strategic planning that explore alternative energy sources in the North.

Federal investment supports commitment to energy diversification

This investment will support Qulliq Energy Corporation’s (QEC) strategic plan to develop alternate sources of energy in Nunavut. QEC is the sole generator and distributor of electrical power in the territory. Currently the electrical needs of Nunavut’s 25 communities are met by imported diesel fuel, having a significant impact on the production cost of power. It also contributes to carbon pollution, making Nunavut families and businesses vulnerable to the fluctuating costs of fuels.

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

The ultimate goal of these projects works towards a full assessment of Nunavut’s geothermal potential, and will contribute to updated calculations of greenhouse gas emissions reduction in the territory.

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