Plans are underway for Canada’s first geothermal plant to be constructed in Saskatchewan. It is estimated that the facility will provide power for approximately 5000 homes and offset about 27,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. SaskPower signed a PPA in 2017 that will enable power to be bought from the plant by the Crown corporation and toward the goal of 40% emission reduction by 2030 compared to those of 2005 levels.
Considering the oil-rich nature of Canada, plans for a geothermal plant are ground-breaking. Developments for the plant are being pursued using ‘world-class conventional oil and gas drilling technology’. A test well which has been recorded as the deepest in Saskatchewan history was drilled to 3530 meters by DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. Production and injection wells will be drilled in the second phase to determine the next drilling stages.
Electricity production is expected to commence in the next 2.5 years. It is expected that 5 MW of energy will be generated at the beginning with the potential for expansion as time progresses. Geothermal energy can become more a feasible and economical alternative to coal and natural gas with carbon pricing now in effect in the country.
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Author: Elizabeth Bullock