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Geothermal project in Saskatchewan, Canada to start drilling next month

Drilling rig at Estevan, Saskatchewan (source: flickr/ Jeff Sandquist, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 15 May 2018

Development company Deep Earth Energy Production Corporation (DEEP) has received funding from a provincial innovation fund and will be starting drilling for its 5 MW geothermal pilot power plant in Estevan, in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

In Canada, the race is on to bring the first geothermal power plant online. In news today it is reported that the Government of the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada has announced funding of $175,000 (around USD 136,000) for geothermal developer Deep Earth Energy Production Corporation (DEEP).

The company that is working on developing a geothermal power demonstration plant in the Estevan area in Southern Saskatchewan, will receive the funds over two years through Innovation Saskatchewan’s Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund (SAIF). With the funding the company will be able to buy equipment and work on necessary infrastructure to prove the feasibility of a geothermal power plant in the province.

The resource is expected to be found in a 120 degree Celsius aquifer, with an estimated development potential of up to 500 MW of installed power generation capacity.

The funding by SAIF is in line with the provincial government’s commitment to innovate and develop technological solutions to reduce the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Saskatchewan is already a world leader in innovative carbon capture and storage technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Tina Beaudry-Mellor, the minister responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan.

As we reported before a power purchase agreement with the provincial utility SaskPower was signed for a 5 MW pilot plant back in May 2017.

DEEP has completed a pre-feasibility study for the project and expects to start initial drilling for a production and injection well in June 2018, with an expected drilling depth of 3,400 meters. Tests will the determine if there project is economically feasible. Construction would then continue throughout 2018.

DEEP was founded in 2010, by professional geoscientists, Kirsten Marcia and Steve Halabura, to harness Saskatchewan’s geothermal resources for long-term power generation.

There are currently no operating geothermal power plants in Canada.

“It is very exciting to launch Canada’s first geothermal power facility right here in Saskatchewan, a province known for its vast resources,” said Marcia, a former Estevan resident who is DEEP’s CEO.

“With geothermal power being the only renewable option providing a baseload power supply, (95 per cent availability), it’s a very attractive addition to our provincial grid. DEEP is very grateful for Innovation Saskatchewan’s support in the advancement of this cutting edge renewable power project.”

Source: Estevan Mercury