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Energy Advisor Training

Gonezu Energy in partnership with Department of Natural Resources (NRCan), Energy Efficiency Program: Greener Home Initiative., Akaitcho Territory Government, Dehcho First Nations,Délįnę Got'įnę Government and The Tłı̨chǫ Government, under took a 16 week Energy Advisor Training Program for 12 Indigenous community memories from rural and remote communities. 


The objective of the project was to work with educational and service organizations to develop and implement a training program for members from remote Indigenous communities from across the Northwest Territories (NT) in order to increase registered energy advisors (EAs) in remote areas by up to 12 as well as build capacity within Indigenous communities.


Through the project Gonezu Energy created and delivered a comprehensive training program with in-person and virtual training options, which was designed to adequately prepare candidates in the NT, particularly from underrepresented groups (up to 12 Indigenous candidates), in undertaking and successfully completing the Foundation Level and Energy Advisor exams.


Update: Gonezu continues to provide candidates with practical hands-on training and mentorship opportunities to support them in becoming registered EAs. Gonezu also continues to undertake activities to increase awareness of, and interest in, opportunities to become an EA and the Greener Homes Program in the NT.

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2023 Gonezu Off-Grid Solar Installation Project

Gonezu is working with 20 cabin owners from across the Dehcho Region to install $15,000 solar packages at a cost of only $850 to the cabin owners. In the process Gonezu will be training 3 DFN members as electrical apprentices/ solar installers and be running 2 day solar skills training sessions for cabin owners.  This project will result in an annual diesel reduction of 92,700L and corresponding reduction in GHG emissions of 250,290 kg. 

2022 Geothermal Project

In December of 2022 Gonezu, with a support letter from DFN, was able to secure $175,000 in funding to support a study to further validate the Geothermal Potential within the Dehcho Region. One of the main focuses of the study was the data gathered from the wells being decommissioned at Cameron Hills. The results of the study had a broad range of benefits for both Regional Indigenous and Community Governments, and Indigenous community members in the region, by furthering the understanding of favourability of the Geothermal Resource as well as the technologies and opportunities that resulted from the installation of Geothermal and/or Geo Exchange project in the region. As part of the project Gonezu Energy worked with Terrapin Geothermics to ensure that the findings of the research were open sourced and accessible to everyone; and then worked directly with Indigenous Regional and Committee Governments to contextualize the findings through a traditional / cultural lens, that enabled decisions to be made by Indigenous leadership about the future use of this resources to ensure the maximization of benefits to the people of the region.


Updates: In March of 2023 Gonezu received a report from ELM (the firm that was responsible decommissioning of the wells at Cameron Hills).  This report provided information about the some of the wells that were being decommissioned that will help to further validate the geothermal potential in the region.  The report from ELM was forwarded to Terrapin for analysis (see attached ELM report).


In April 2023 Terrapin had begun analyzing the data provided by ELM and will be able to presents its findings and recommendations for potential geothermal development in the region by December 2023.  Additionally, Terrapin convened a meeting of all of the research organizations currently researching Geothermal within the Dehcho region in an attempt to coordinate that research work being conducted (see attached Terrapin Report).

Next steps and opportunities

1.      INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) is looking to conduct a social acceptability project entitled “Geothermal resources for energy transition: Building capacity through engagement with northern communities”. This project was developed to understand communities’ perspectives regarding the energy transition in their community and the community members thoughts, opinions, and/or concerns about geothermal energy exploration in their respective communities (see attached letter further describing the proposed research).

Gonezu Energy is going to create an internship position for a DFN members to support this study.

2.     Terrapin is interested in partnering with a community in the Dehcho Region to look at ‘Research and Development’ project that would involve installing a monobore geothermal installation in a community. Terrapin would secure the funding and the community would own the infrastructure. 

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Decarbonizing Heat in Canada's North:

The majority of Canada’s current habitat energy use (50%) is for commercial and residential space and water heating. Where geothermal heating systems can be deployed there is opportunity to offset heat provided by natural gas, thereby reducing GreenHouse Gases (GHG). This offsetting potentially could liberate some of Canada’s cleaner hydrocarbons to be used in Canada’s North, replacing diesel, or sold to foreign, coal-dependent markets, which would enable Canada to decarbonize locally while also contributing to global decarbonization. Considering Canada’s cold climate, sparse population, and costly infrastructure due to a dispersed population and great distances, Canada has done well at reducing its GHs (GreenHouse Gases) overtime. Providing Canadians with long-term, sustainable, decarbonized thermal energy should be the goal of national, regional, and local governments.

**See poster above for more information**

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Nahanni Butte, NWT - Right Sizing Geothermal Development

Nahanni Butte is a small community of under 100 people in the south-west corner of Northwest Territories. Presently, the electricity needs of the community are supplied by diesel generator. The heat for the community is provided by oil fired furnaces, oil fired hydronic systems in larger building, such as the Band office and sports/gym buildings, and combustion of wood in individual residences.To increase the community’s energy stability and reduce their carbon emissions, geothermal energy was evaluated for both heat and power.The advantage of this system is it can be deployed in a single, small diameter borehole. Locally available diamond drill rigs running relatively inexpensive drill bits as small as 64mm could be used. Drilling costs remain the largest hurdle to geothermal development, whether it be for geothermal, geoexchange, heat storage, or Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS); drilling remains a significant capital cost for projects. The conclusion of this project is recommending a waste heat recovery system in the short term, and with future development, the community should consider a monobore, downhole heat exchanger system to provide new construction with base-load heating on a multi-decadal time frame; “right sized” for the community.

**See poster above for further information**

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Revisiting the geothermal potential of the Dehcho Region in NWT: New Data from old wells

In the winter of 2023, multiple wells in the Northwest Territories (NWT) were being abandoned at the direction of the Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations (OROGO) for NWT. As part of the closure and abandonment, six wells in the Cameron Hills region, NWT were chosen to carry out geothermal temperature logging to ascertain and authenticate the geothermal gradient of the region and the true bottom hole temperatures of the wells. The historical gradient in Cameron Hills was estimated to be between 30 degrees Celsius/km and 35 degrees Celsius/km. This was derived from the hydrocarbon wells that were tested shortly after drilling. The Dehcho region of NWT has taken a leading role in analyzing the region’s energy sustainability needs and optimization strategies. There are several projects underway that are looking at ways to lower costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide more sustainable, long-term solutions to meet the energy needs of local communities. For example, Gonezu Energy currently has a project underway in the hamlet of Nahanni Butte and Barkley Group and CANMET are currently analyzing the Fort Liard energy needs.

**See poster above for more information**

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