Craig Dunn of Borealis GeoPower, Named EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist!

(Calgary, 6 July 2016) – EY is recognizing an impressive group of Prairies entrepreneurs for their financial performance, vision, leadership, personal integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. Today, the firm named 50 finalists across 10 categories in its EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Prairies 2016 awards program.

“Our entrepreneurs are building a better working world one company at a time,” says Rob Jolley, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Prairies Program Director. “In this region, we are consistently impressed with the calibre of men and women who are leading businesses, driving our economy forward and providing jobs to thousands of people. Our judges have a tough job narrowing down these fantastic stories into winners. We have a top notch group of finalists.”

An independent panel of judges will name winners in a number of diverse categories, and one of the category winners as the overall Prairies winner. That winner will then compete with winners from Québec, Atlantic, Pacific and Ontario for the Canadian Entrepreneur Of The Year title. The Canadian winner will go on to compete with winners from more than 50 countries for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year, in June 2017.

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Canada Has Enormous Geothermal Potential. Why Aren’t We Using it?

Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Canada | Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Like a stand of eager horses chomping at the bit, Canada’s young geothermal industry is waiting impatiently at the starting line, ready for the race to begin.

But there’s no starting pistol in sight. At least, not yet.

Getting geothermal projects up and running in Canada “has been harder than it needs to be,” according to Alison Thompson, founder and president of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CANGea).

Thompson, along with a group of delegates from Canada’s geothermal industry, is currently in Reykjavik at the Iceland Geothermal Conference where delegates, experts and scientists from around the world are swapping stories from the geothermal trenches.

Despite having the second largest delegation at the conference after Iceland, Canada has little to show or tell.

“Canada has an incredibly high quality resource and we can’t even get out of the starting gate,” Thompson told DeSmog Canada.

To read the full article, click here

Introduction to Geothermal Exploration with Craig Dunn

Please join us on Saturday, July 16th for our Introduction to Geothermal Exploration with our very own Chief Geologist, Craig Dunn.

Spend the day learning from geo-scientists. Ask questions. Be informed. Understand what’s happening in Geothermal exploration in Valemount. Instructor Craig Dunn will be explaining the basics of Geothermal resource development in this one-day workshop! Lunch included.

Geothermal poster Revised

For information, and to register, please call the Valemount Learning Centre at 250-566-4601 or 1-888-690-4422

9AM – 12PM: Classroom Session             1PM-5PM: Field Exploration

Best Western Inn & Suites                        Canoe Reach (Kinbasket Lake)


Geothermal Energy Exploration and Development Luncheon Fast Approaching

Please join us on Wednesday June 22, 2016 where we will have a discussion on insights in Western Canadian applications of geothermal geology, drilling & completions, and power generation operations.


The Alberta Oil and Gas Industry has been hit by numerous downturns, most recently from November 2014 up to present. Almost 140,000 jobs have been lost and the oil price is still at or below $50 per barrel. How can we bring back the use of the drilling rigs and use our Alberta oil and gas skills to develop energy?

Learn more about the event here. Hope to see you there!

Geothermal Energy Could Put Alberta Workers Back on the Job

Written by Carol Linnit; Huffington Post.

Abandoned oil and gas wells in Alberta are on the rise — but where many see a growing liability, Alberta’s fledgling geothermal industry sees massive opportunity.

“We’ve got these old wells that we know are hot and we’re going to fill them with cement and walk away,” says Tim Davies, CEO of geothermal company Turkana. “It’s just stupid.”

There’s currently no permitting framework for geothermal in Alberta, leaving the renewable energy out of play.

“I own the well, I own the land and I own the oil. But I can’t own the heat,” Davies said. “There’s just no mechanism for that in place.”

“The oil business has drilled 400,000 wells in Alberta alone,” Alison Thompson, president of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, told DeSmog Canada. “They’ve already found all the hot water the province has.”

“The oil patch has those skills to get the most out of every well,” Thompson said, adding the workforce has been hamstrung by a lack of forward thinking policies.

The number of orphaned wells — left in the wake of a mass exodus of oil and gas producers — has quadrupled in the last 12 months.

Ben Lee, owner of Raven Thermal Systems, says the oil and gas sector’s loss could be the geothermal industry’s gain.

“For the first time in more than a decade you’ve got very skilled workers that have exactly the skillset that a successful geothermal project needs,” Lee told DeSmog Canada.

Geothermal energy draws on the earth’s natural warmth to create a renewable form of energy with a low environmental footprint and virtually no carbon emissions. Importantly, geothermal provides reliable base load capacity, similar to a hydro dam or gas-fired power plant, enabling system stability.

Despite being home to enormous geothermal potential, Canada is the only country on the Pacific Ring of Fire that doesn’t use the resource to produce commercial-scale energy.

CanGEA released a report in late 2014 that found geothermal could supply all of the energy needs of British Columbia for much cheaper than the Site C dam, currently under construction.

“You’ve got top-notch geologists, reservoir engineers, drilling and completion engineers, surface engineers and all the associated landmen and everything else that comes along with a successful drilling program,” Lee said.

“They are available, and available on the cheap to some extent right now, because there is so much supply.”

Click here to view the whole page.

CBC Radio-Canada speaks to Borealis GeoPower about BC and Alberta Geothermal Potential

Environmental Plan for Alberta: geothermal also wants its place in the sun

Alberta, which has a strong geothermal potential, this energy should further include in its plan on climate change, according to a Canadian association.

A text Samuel Danzon – Chambaud

The province wants to have up to 30% renewable energy in 2030, but despite its strong geothermal potential, Alberta evokes little this energy in its report on climate change.

“Regarding geothermal energy, we are only mentioned twice in the document,” notes Alison Thompson, president of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA). “It’s very frustrating for us.”

Geothermal energy draws hot underground water to produce energy. The water can then be re-injected into the ground at least serve for other uses such as agriculture or public baths.

Although geothermal energy is used to produce heating, there is no power plant in the country.

Canada’s geothermal potential:

Canada Geothermal Potential


The co-founder of Borealis GeoPower think a concrete example is necessary for development of the industry. “We need this first project a success”, has indicated Craig Dunn.

He has filled the void left by coal, that Alberta wants to replace such green energy such as solar and wind power. Craig Dunn noted that the advantage of geothermal energy is to produce energy at all times.

In an email, Alberta’s Minister of the Environment is committed to study this form of energy in the framework of the plan on climate change. Shannon Phillips is also open to discussions with CanGEA.


Click here to view the whole page.

Craig Dunn and Alison Thompson to present alongside Bernie Karl at this BC workshop

Geothermal Industrial Park and Direct-Heat Use Workshop
Valemount, British ColumbiaSIBACS

Valemount, British Columbia Valemount_logoFebruary 12, 2016 - February 13, 2016

Sponsored by SIBAC
Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition

Key Note Speakers
Bernie Karl, Chena Hot Springs
Resort Chena, Alaska

Tonya "Toni" Boyd, Formerly
Geo-Heat Center, Klamath Falls, Oregon

Alison Thompson, Chair
Canadian Geothermal Energy Association

Craig Dunn, P. Geo Chief
Geologist, Borealis GeoPower
Calgary, Alberta

Mike Sato, Sea to Sky Onsen Inc.,
Squamish, BC


Presentations and Meetings will be held at
Best Western Plus Valemount Inn and Suites
1950 Highway 5 South
Valemount, BC V0E 2Z0

Friday, February 12, 2016
2:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Saturday, February 13, 2016
9:00 am - 12:00 noon


To view the program details, please click here.

Registration Fees

  • Free for area residents
  • Regular: $25 CAD
  • Fees may be paid online or at the registration table on Friday, Febuary 12, 2016
  • Registration Code for the Best Western: geo-workshop

Is Geothermal Power Ready to Make Its Debut in Canada?


Borealis GeoPower, a Calgary-based geothermal development firm, hopes to change that. It’s developing of a 15 MW hydrothermal plant at Canoe Reach, near Valemount in southeastern B.C. With plans to bring the plant online and begin selling power to BC Hydro in 2018, it could become the first commercial geothermal power facility in Canada.

In addition to Canoe Reach, Borealis is pursuing another 15 MW geothermal power plant at Lakelse Lake near Terrace, B.C., in partnership with LL Geothermal.

These are not pilot projects, says Craig Dunn, chief geologist at Borealis. The company expects both to be profitable operations. Moreover, Borealis believes there are five to 10 more sites in B.C. that could quickly ramp up geothermal production.

“The resource opportunity in British Columbia is amazing,” Dunn says.

Geothermal energy is generated from naturally occurring heat found in rocks and liquid in reservoirs deep beneath the surface of the earth. Wells are drilled into these reservoirs to capture hot water and steam, which, when brought to the surface, drive turbines to generate electricity before being returned to the ground.

The resource has been used to generate electricity for more than 100 years on the small scale and for more than 50 years at the utility scale. Today, it is generating renewed interest as a relatively emissions-free source of renewable power.

Canada has a long way to go to catch up in the rankings. But that’s not a deterrent to geothermal advocates such as Dunn and Thompson. “This isn’t a new technology,” Thompson says. “It’s new to Canada because we haven’t tried it yet.”

Read the full article here...

The Volcanic Underground: Is Geothermal Energy The Answer?

Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan are sitting on a wealth of free, green energy. So why is nobody doing anything about it?

“We are already in the top – maybe the top five – producers of geothermal energy in the world.”

Strange words when you consider that Alberta has never produced a megawatt of geothermal. Alison Thompson, co-founder of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CANGEA), sounds exasperated trying to explain the fact. “We are producing the energy, we’re just not doing anything with it,” she says. “It’s like a nuclear plant or a coal plant spinning the electrical generator but you didn’t connect it to the grid.”

“We don’t have a geothermal industry in Alberta for the most part,” says Craig Dunn, chief geologist of Calgary-based Borealis GeoPower, all of whose projects are outside of Alberta. “We have people in the industry who are excited and opportunistic about what could be, but we are currently at zero megawatts of production.”

The potential is there. Canada’s west coast exists within the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, making it a hotbed of geothermal activity. While Canada doesn’t see the earthquakes or volcanic activity of many other Ring of Fire countries, a 2010 study in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysics and Geoengineering shows the abundant potential for geothermal. It found the most promising sites in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan, at depths of between 3.5 and 6.5 kilometres (not deep by modern drilling standards). But unlike other Ring of Fire countries like the U.S., the Philippines, and Mexico, Canada has not developed much geothermal.

But with a new government and the prospect of long-term low oil prices, Alberta has never seen a greater opportunity for a geothermal industry to get off the ground.

Alberta’s poor performance in geothermal is especially surprising when you consider the technology and engineering know-how that exists in this province. “Given that we have tens of thousands of wells and then tens of thousands more that have been abandoned or suspended, this is an enormous resource that we’ve already managed in Alberta, and that’s a surprise for a lot of people,” Thompson says. “The real message here is the silver lining. You go looking for oil, and you get some silver along the way.”

Dunn says that technologically, Canada is among the best in the world for both drilling and resource exploration. In his mind, there is no excuse for not being ahead of the countries that are producing geothermal.

Both Dunn and Thompson say a major reason behind this stagnation is a simple lack of interest. For years, geothermal has existed under the radar of both the oil and gas giants and the provincial government. When oil was at $100 a barrel it was hard to get producers to discuss geothermal. And when the only way to develop geothermal is to partner with the oil and gas industry, you have a stalemate. “Why are we not doing it is because no one cared,” Thompson says. “No one cared before about being a bit more green or they didn’t care about maybe getting another quarter of a million dollars in revenue off that wellhead with oil prices over $100.”

That’s no longer the case. Now, geothermal may start blinking on the radar of the oil and gas industry because, while the short-term benefits may be less than those of oil and gas, in the long run it can help a company’s bottom line. “The advantage is that you’re building an infrastructure for a renewable resource that can run indefinitely,” Dunn says.

And one can see the benefits of geothermal for Albertan workers. They would put drillers and engineers back to work in the energy industry, and put the keys back into equipment that is now sitting cold and dormant.

One of the hurdles the industry needs to overcome is a lack of provincial policy surrounding geothermal. For instance, right now you can’t get a permit just to develop a geothermal resource. It has to be part of another resource-development permit. Thompson is hopeful there will be some movement in that regard. She points out that CANGEA never got a meeting during the years of Progressive Conservative rule in this province, but within months of the NDP taking over, she has organized a meeting with Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd.

“This is a type of warmer welcome that we’re getting,” she says. “We’re not looking at future pie-in-the-sky, but at what can we do today to make tomorrow different.” Both Dunn and Thompson are adamant that geothermal can and will work hand in hand with the core of Alberta’s energy industry. The relationship would be a symbiotic one, with geothermal supplementing oil and gas.

“This is not about shutting [the oil patch] down, this is about extending it and making it, right at the wellhead, more green,” Thompson says. “Get more use out of your footprint. You’ve disturbed the land, let’s get micro power and oil and gas out of it.”
There are projects on the horizon that offer promise to the geothermal industry.

One initiative is underway near Hinton, in the rolling foothills east of Jasper. Researchers from the University of Alberta have teamed up with Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions and the towns in the region to study the development of 10 geothermal reservoirs. Advocates hope that proving to industry and the new government that it is possible to extract geothermal will jumpstart the industry. “We need to start using what we have and not pitting environmental movement against oil and gas,” Thompson says. “We’re all in this together, and we can all work together to make energy more sustainable and more green without shutting people down.”

Click here to view the article…