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Federal funding could push geothermal project to next level, council hears

This funding — $5 million is available — would allow Moose Jaw to push forward the existing project, including digging a test well to determine whether the project is feasible. 
City hall tower sunset
Moose Jaw City Hall. (Matthew Gourlie photograph)

City council plans to pursue federal funding to support a geothermal project taking place in Moose Jaw and help push the initiative to the next level.

During its Oct. 12 regular meeting, council unanimously voted to submit the Galilee Geothermal Project to the federal Natural Resources Canada infrastructure program under its Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways program capacity-building stream. 

This funding — $5 million is available — would allow Moose Jaw to push forward the existing project, including digging a test well to determine whether the project is feasible. 

During its Jan. 11 executive committee meeting, council approved a proposal from Steve Halabura for the Galilee Geothermal Project and his preliminary economic assessment of the development of the resource for agri-food production. Council also approved $54,186 to assist with the start-up.

“The City of Moose Jaw has an opportunity to further harness the geothermal resource to create economic development initiatives,” economic manager Jim Dixon said during the October meeting. 

A consultant will work with city hall to complete the application proposal, which must be submitted by Friday, Oct. 22. Then, should the federal government provide the grant funding, city administration would bring a report to council with the project’s next steps. 

This report is in line with council’s strategic plan, which aims to be an attractive and welcoming city of choice with a balanced and well-supported economy by providing sustainable community growth, Dixon’s report added. The plan identifies that new opportunities, actions, and tactics are required to successfully advance the community into the future.

“This is really exciting,” said Coun. Crystal Froese. 

Residents know that Moose Jaw has geothermal wells, which the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa helped create and uses, she continued. She thought it was “quite extraordinary” that the potential for geothermal energy existed in the area and that it could generate additional revenue for the municipality. 

“It has oodles of potential,” she added.

The next regular council meeting is Monday, Oct. 25.