Energy & Power
Feds support Canada’s first geothermal power facility in Saskatchewan
By Peter Saunders
January 14, 2019 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced federal government support for Deep Earth Energy Production’s new geothermal power facility near Estevan, Sask., which will turn heat from the Earth’s crust into electricity.
While the project is the first of its kind in Canada, geothermal power already generates more than 11,700 MW of electricity around the world. Following a 2014 pre-feasibility study and successful test drilling, Deep plans to use technologies familiar to the oil, gas and mining industries to tap into the renewable energy source. (Indeed, when Frontier Project Solutions and Horizon Drilling reached their target depth for a vertical well of 3,530 m on Dec. 16, 2018, it became the deepest well ever drilled in Saskatchewan’s history.)
Through Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) Emerging Renewable Power Program, the federal government has offered $25.6 million in funding for the 5-MW facility, which will produce enough electricity to power approximately 5,000 homes, while reducing yearly atmospheric emissions equivalent to 7,400 cars.
Its construction is expected to create 100 jobs and pave the way for additional investment in the Williston Basin, which reportedly could support several hundred MW of power-generating capacity.
“Deep’s project has the potential to transform how the province and the country produce energy, while creating good middle-class jobs for Canadians,” says Trudeau.
In addition, excess heat from the facility will be channelled to a 45-acre commercial greenhouse.