geoLAGOONS and the Environment
A self-sustaining, carbon-neutral project using renewable energy to heat geoLAGOONS and the surrounding cottages in a closed-loop system
All over the world, new resorts are offering rental or hotel cottages, often with a private hot tub and pool for each unit.
These are two of the most popular accommodation options for people booking short-term vacation rentals. If we had followed that model for our Québec vacation villages, we would be operating hot tubs year-round and swimming pools 5 months a year—and using a lot of hydropower.
In contrast, a shared lagoon-style pool allows us to reduce the water surface by half and, most importantly, to be self-sufficient by producing our energy locally.
At a time of energy transition, with Hydro-Québec no longer producing significant energy surpluses, we believe it’s better to make Hydro-Québec’s electricity available to the companies using it to replace climate-harming fossil fuels.
Producing our own energy locally seemed to us a much better solution. So we came up with the idea of creating an ecosystem that can store plenty of energy to heat the cottages and also decided to clad them with solar panels capable of generating both thermal and electrical energy.
Our goal is to become a model of self-sufficiency for destination attractions that also provide accommodation.
And given the trophic status of Québec’s lakes, we believe it would be better for each region to provide access to safe, filtered swimming areas rather than having tourists and campers use our natural lakes and waterways, which are often unsafe. Remember, sunscreen and insect repellent can add to the chemicals and phosphorus in lakes popular for swimming. According to Eva Pip, a professor specializing in toxicology and water quality, about one quarter of the sunscreen people apply stays in the water after a swim.
By offering environmentally conscious families and swimmers the alternative of visiting a filtered lagoon pool rather than a lake, we’ll also reduce the impact people have on lake trophic status. Swimmers get the best of both worlds—enjoying nature from the water without impacting the water quality for flora and fauna.
Taking inspiration from Blue Lagoon Iceland, one of National Geographic’s 25 wonders of the world, we will custom build a state-of-the-art lagoon using a patented technology that combines a water bath with an insulated, watertight sub-tank that stays very hot. Water from the open-air lagoon will circulate through the coils in the heated sub-tank at the flow rate required to keep it at 38°C.
Behind the incredible experience of swimming outdoors in a vast lagoon kept at 38°C, even in winter, there is a business mission: to innovate by creating a self-sufficient village that runs on non-conventional renewable energy.
Read on for a summary of the principles and technologies behind geoLAGOON villages, which aim for net zero energy use. The studies, reports and calculations our experts have produced leave no doubt in our minds as to the technical feasibility of our project.
We aim to create self-sufficient villages and lagoons heated to 38°C year-round—and we want you to be part of our business model!
- - geoLAGOON villages seek to create an ecosystem of rental cottages centred around a vast geothermal- and solar-heated blue lagoon by collecting rainwater and generating all the energy the village needs on site.
- - We want to show tourists and local communities alike how the infinite supply of energy from the sun and the earth can provide a technically and financially viable option as we work toward the energy transition, a transition that will increasingly require alternatives to hydropower.
- - Although hydropower will be available, each village will aim for carbon neutrality and self-sufficiency by producing more energy than it consumes.
- - In a nutshell, the highly innovative geoLAGOON energy ecosystem will use stored heat from the lagoon to heat the surrounding cottages, and solar energy captured by the photovoltaic panels on the cottages to help heat the lagoon and tanks.
- - The plan is for a lagoon powered entirely by renewable energy from solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and geothermal sources, with biomass as a backup in some cases.
- - These will be private, unsubsidized investments using clean energy as a model for self-sufficiency and net zero emissions. To see these projects come to fruition, we need to sell enough cottages at each geoLAGOON site—that’s the crux of the real estate model created by our team.
- - To limit our environmental footprint, each triangular lagoon, along with its spectacular service pavilion in the form of a half-infinity symbol (the other half being its reflection in the lagoon), will be built aboveground, on the roof of a building assembled on pilings and positioned between two hills, leaving only one visible facade.
- - RBQ regulates such construction projects in Québec. Note also that our high-tech filtration system will not produce any discharge.
- - The temperature of the water in each open-air geoLAGOON will be kept at 38°C year-round using self-sufficient renewable energy. The heat from the lagoon will provide a continuous source of energy to heat and cool the homes in the village.