News release

Geothermal Potential Heating Up in Cumberland County

Geothermal energy already heats some buildings in Springhill, and a study funded by the Province will help advance its full potential in the area.

“Nova Scotia is becoming a world leader in green energy by being innovative and exploring the potential of our province’s rich natural resources,” said Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. “Cumberland County is one of eight areas in the province where there is geothermal potential, and we want to harness every bit of it as a clean source of heat.”

Geothermal energy is generated by extracting heat from underground sources. In Nova Scotia, abandoned mines that are at least 1,000 metres deep have warm water that can be used to heat homes and other buildings. Cumberland County is already successfully using geothermal technology in shallow depths at sites that have potential at deeper levels.

The Department is investing $80,000 in a study by the Municipality of Cumberland County to determine how to make full use of the area’s geothermal resources. The municipality will hire a new graduate from a Nova Scotia post-secondary institution to work on the one-year project.

The project is led by a working group with representatives from the Department, the municipality and the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Cumberland campus.


It is very exciting for the Municipality of Cumberland to see this initiative progressing. With the support of the provincial government, we will be able to build upon previous successful geothermal research in the area. With the need to explore and expand renewable energy opportunities, this is the time to pursue this very valuable resource. Murray Scott, Mayor, Municipality of Cumberland

The vicinity of the campus to the underground mines provided us with a natural alignment to the study of geothermal energy. Our living lab is heated by the nearby geothermal energy source supporting hands-on learning for students in the refrigeration and air conditioning - geothermal program. Don McCormack, Principal, NSCC Cumberland campus

Quick Facts:

  • geothermal energy is already being used in Springhill by Surette Battery, Ropak Packaging, NSCC Cumberland campus and the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre
  • the project complements Net Zero Atlantic’s work to build community capacity for advancing geothermal opportunities; the Province supported Net Zero Atlantic in accessing $1.3 million in federal support
  • information on how to apply for the student contract position will be available on the Municipality of Cumberland website

Additional Resources:

NSCC Cumberland campus geothermal program:

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