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Springhill: A geothermal future

In the 1950s, the town of Springhill, N.S., was devastated by two of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history. An explosion in 1956 killed 39 miners, and another 74 died in the "bump" of 1958. Despite much hardship, the people of Springhill have shown a will to survive that is tougher than coal.

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Springhill emerges from its mining past to embrace a geothermal future. After several decades of research and testing of the area, the groundwater from flooded coal mines is discovered to be a source of geothermal energy. Unlike coal, geothermal energy is environmentally friendly and inexpensive. On Sept. 3, 1992, Springhill is designated a geothermal resource area. There are currently 11 businesses and industries using geothermal energy in Springhill.
• Geothermal energy is created when large reservoirs of groundwater become heated deep within the Earth.
• In Springhill, groundwater is pumped from shallow parts of old mines and runs through heat pumps at the surface. It returns to the mines after use. The resulting energy is powerful enough to heat or cool industrial buildings.
• As finite resources of oil and gas are depleted, geothermal energy may prove to be a viable alternative to fossil fuel.
Medium: Television
Program: Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: June 15, 1992
Guest(s): Ralph Ross
Host: Alison Smith
Reporter: Patricia Chew
Duration: 2:28

Last updated: June 3, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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