Geo-Exchange Energy System

Imagine the Future of Energy

VIU is reducing its carbon output for heating and cooling of Nanaimo’s campus to near zero by harnessing the geo-energy stored in sunken mine shafts under the campus. This geo-exchange project is unique in Canada, as it utilizes state-of-the-art innovative, sustainable, green technologies. 


  • Teaching and learning opportunities from our sustainable and innovative system for physics, engineering, and power engineering students, as well as the public.
  • Reducing VIU’s greenhouse gas output (approximate energy savings – 625,000 kWh; approximate greenhouse gas emissions reduction – 131 tonnes CO2 equivalent) and positioning the institution as a leader in sustainability.


  • The sustainable and robust energy source at VIU’s Nanaimo campus will significantly reduce greenhouse gas output and overall operating costs, while increasing operational sustainability.
  • The project has significant potential for expansion beyond the VIU campus as an energy source for neighbouring communities.

Imagine Your Legacy

Your gift will help us install three TV screens inside the building's windows that will display three ongoing themes. The first TV will display the past history of the Wakesiah coal mine from which this energy comes, the second TV will focus on the present Geo-Exchange project and information, and the third TV will--you guessed it--focus on future endeavours, such as expansion of the system to service the areas surrounding the campus and beyond. Each of these will be activated with an exterior pushbutton and have accompanying audio. 

Your gift could also allow us to develop the outside of the building into a covered interpretive area where students and community members can study and discuss the system, sharing ideas and knowledge about this innovative green energy, and where we can go next.

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