The Cumberland Energy Authority was formed in 2012 through an Inter-Municipal Agreement between the Municipality of the County of Cumberland, the Town of Parrsboro, and the former Town of Springhill to promote regional energy development.
A minewater geothermal business park in Springhill is closer to reality with the concept design phase funded and awarded.
The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund, is providing a $125,000 contribution for the concept design. The Cumberland Energy Authority is also contributing $125,000.
“Geothermal energy has been shown to significantly reduce energy costs,” said Bill Casey, the Member of Parliament for Cumberland – Colchester, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “Through projects like this one, the Government of Canada is helping local businesses save on energy so they can better compete in the global market and grow the economy. The green industrial business park will help companies decrease their carbon footprint, develop efficient and renewable energy, and protect the environment.”
ACOA has previously funded research related to the minewater geothermal potential in Springhill.
The concept design phase will be completed by DesignPoint Engineering & Surveying Ltd. as awarded in an open request for proposals (RFP) process.
“We had considerable interest in the RFP process from many engineering firms. We are confident in the team at DesignPoint and look forward to working with them on this unique opportunity,” stated Executive Director of the Cumberland Energy Authority Ray Hickey. “This vital phase of the business park development wouldn’t be possible without the continued financial support from ACOA.”
The draft concept design will include a plan showing the proposed road layout and lot configurations, water, sanitary and stormwater management systems, active transportation routes, a “whole community” aesthetic and a district energy system brief.
Springhill is noted for having some of the deepest coal mines in North America, with depths reaching 1323 metres. Coal mining became the primary industry for the community in 1849 and continued until a series of mining disasters forced the closure of the mines in 1958. This was the end of large-scale coal mining in Springhill. Over the years, the mine tunnels started to flood with water, providing a valuable resource for the community. Minewater has been used for geothermal heating and cooling in businesses in Springhill for over 30 years.
The Cumberland Energy Authority is a project of the Municipality of Cumberland, intent on setting the standard of leadership in local government for the development of renewable energy, support of the progressive energy industry and the encouragement of a sustainable future for our communities.