The Yukon government is pushing forward with plans to heat the new F.H. Collins high school with a geothermal heat pump.
On Thursday, the territory announced it had struck a deal with the City of Whitehorse that would allow this plan to proceed.
“This heating system will use half as much energy as a propane system,” said Education Minister Scott Kent.
“We’re very happy to go ahead with this project, and in particular I am pleased for the students that sat on the building advisory committee. Making the new school as green as possible was very important to them,” said Kent.
The geothermal system would use pumps and compressors to draw heat from the city’s water supply.
“Once we extract the heat, we’ll turn it over to the city for their municipal water supply. We are unaware of any other project in North America like this,” said Kent.
But Kent still can’t say how much the geothermal system will cost.
Education spokesperson Chris Madden said the heat pump would cost more than a propane system, but its energy savings would make it cheaper in the long run than depending on fossil fuels.
Construction of the new school is slated to begin in July.