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The BAYplex multi-use recreational facility is located in the historic coal mining community of Glace Bay. It is used by citizens from throughout the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM). The BAYplex is situated approximately 50 metres above the abandoned and flooded Sterling Mine workings, which operated from 1872-1896. The water in the flooded workings is warmed by the earth (geothermal) and maintains a fairly constant temperature of 9.5°C.
In 2011, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation in conjunction with the CBRM and several local engineering firms , sponsored and developed a plan to retrofit the BAYplex heating and cooling plant infrastructure to use mine water. The new heat exchangers use the extracted mine water to heat the building, make ice for the skating rink and to provide air conditioning (cooling) in the summer. The project began in early 2011 and the system was commissioned later that year. The BAYplex retrofit is considered a huge success as the facility has realized significant cost savings after replacing its oil and electric-fired boilers with geothermal energy. The facility’s environmental footprint has also been reduced.