A healthy dose of winter weather did not stop dozens of geothermal heating enthusiasts from attending the Ontario Geothermal Association’s annual conference in Gravenhurst, ON, from November 13 to 14 at the picturesque Taboo Muskoka Resort.
The two-day event featured a keynote from Bob Delaney, MPP for Mississauga-Streetsville and parliamentary assistant to the energy minister, and several educational seminars and networking opportunities.
Delaney said Ontario has stopped burning coal to generate energy and “our air is getting cleaner.” He admitted the provincial government is not sufficiently engaged with the geothermal sector, but he added the market is starting to warm up to geothermal technology and it can play a larger role going forward.
During his industry update, Martin Luymes, director of programs and relations for the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), said geothermal is “on the radar” now and there is tremendous opportunity for the industry. “I think the government is sincere in saying there is a future for geothermal,” he said.
Luymes also went on to describe how the OGA (founded in June 2009) has grown as an organization since signing an affiliation agreement with HRAI in May 2013. Luymes expects the OGA to play an even larger role within HRAI in the future and to build stronger relations with similar provincial associations. The end goal, he said, is hopefully to create a national association.
“We are on the cusp of being able to deliver strong programs and policies for you,” he said. “The government doesn’t know a lot about geothermal, but now they know they should be taking it seriously.”
All 53 conference attendees had the opportunity to sit in on and participate in a number of lively seminars on topics related to the geothermal industry, such as marketing, new technologies, industry associations, consulting, codes and standards, and more.
At the OGA’s annual general meeting, members voted to reinstall Stan Reitsma (GeoSource Energy), Tom Boutette (B & B Trade Distribution Centre) and John Baine to the board of directors, Jim Bolger (Waterloo Energy Products) as vice president and John Bosman (Bostech Mechanical) as president.