On Friday, the Trudeau government announced it will help fun a Saskatchewan geothermal power facility which will produce enough electricity to power about 5,000 homes.  DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp., photo.

Saskatchewan geothermal facility near Estevan

On Friday, the Trudeau government announced it will provide $25.6 million to a new Saskatchewan geothermal power facility located near the city of Estevan.

The five Megawatt (MWe) facility will produce enough electricity to power about 5,000 homes and will take the equivalent of the yearly emissions of 7,400 cars out of the atmosphere.

The project is led by DEEP Earth Energy Production Corporation and is the first of its kind in Canada.

“Today’s announcement is an investment in the future of Saskatchewan, and all our children. DEEP’s project has the potential to transform how the province and the country produces energy, while creating good, middle class jobs for Canadians,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“This is another example of how we’re taking action to fight climate change today while strengthening our communities for tomorrow,” said Trudeau.

In mid-December, DEEP announced the successful drilling of its first geothermal test well.  The vertical well reached its target depth of 3,530 metres and is the deepest well ever drilled in Saskatchewan’s history.

“This is a major step forward for the first renewable energy project of its kind in Canada,” said Kirsten Marcia, President and CEO of DEEP.”Successfully drilling and validating the resource potential is the biggest achievement this project has seen to date.”

The Saskatchewan geothermal facility will tap into a new renewable energy source to harness heat from the earth’s crust and transform it into electricity to power homes and businesses year round.

The technology uses similar drilling techniques employed by the oil, gas and mining industries.

Excess heat from the facility will be channeled to a 45-acre greenhouse for commercial use. Such sustainable and affordable clean heating for major commercial greenhouses will present new opportunities for the Saskatchewan agricultural sector.

The Saskatchewan geothermal project will also likely help boost investment in the Williston Basin, which the Canadian government says “has the capacity to support several hundred MWe of power generating capacity.

According to DEEP, open hole logging tools used in the test indicate bottom-hole temperatures exceeded 125°C. “Drill stem test (DST) results were positive, indicating reservoir pressure and permeability that exceeds the minimum threshold for project feasibility.”

The well was completed with a slotted production liner, in preparation for the second phase of the pilot project which includes a production flow and build up test this spring.

Federal funding for the project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Emerging Renewable Power Program.  Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Energy Innovation Program and Innovation Saskatchewan also contributed $350,000 and $175,000, respectively, towards test drilling. The total cost of the project is $51.3 million.

On January 9, 2019, Canada officially became a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency, joining 159 countries in an intergovernmental organization devoted to providing clean, sustainable energy for the world’s growing population.