Canadian DEEP proceeding with Saskatchewan project

Saskatchewan landscape at Lumsden / Craven, Canada (source: flickr/ vtveen, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 4 May 2013

Canadian developer DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. announces funding from the federal government and Saskpower to proceed with a study on economic and technical feasibility of its project in the province of Saskatchewan.

In great news this week, Canadian developer DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp. (DEEP) announces that Natural Resources Canada and SaskPower intend to contribute a total of $2.2 million to fund a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) Study on the economic and technical viability of geothermal as a source of clean electricity generation in southeastern Saskatchewan.

Natural Resources Canada will contribute approximately $1.0 million through its ecoEII program and SaskPower, subject to the successful completion of a funding agreement with DEEP, is considering a contribution up to $1.2 million to the FEED study’s review of technical data, reservoir tests, and development of detailed costs for the next phases of the project.

“Through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, our Government is investing in innovative clean energy technologies that create jobs, generate new economic opportunities and protect the environment,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

“This program demonstrates our tangible support for energy projects that drive energy innovation.”

Upon successful conclusion of the FEED study, it is DEEP’s intention to pursue a five megawatt (MW) binary geothermal power plant that would be located near Estevan, Saskatchewan, that would generate power from a hot aquifer located 3 kilometres under the surface.

Five megawatts is roughly the power required by 5,000 homes, and DEEP’s proposed plant would offset 40,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the emissions from 8,016 cars.

It is DEEP’s hope that if the FEED study proves successful, this would create the opportunity to develop multiple geothermal plants over the next decade.

“This first project could launch a brand new sustainable power supply industry for Canada. The United States is the number one geothermal power producer in the world, and geothermal opportunities do not end at the border,” said Kirsten Marcia, President and CEO of DEEP.

Binary geothermal power plants utilizing the Organic Rankine Cycle have become the preferred means of exploiting hot sedimentary aquifers; more than 800 MW of these plants are in operation today. DEEP’s project will closely resemble these existing power plants.”

In a bit of a disclaimer note I have to say that I was Executive Director of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) and are particularly thrilled to see things progressing in Canada, despite the ongoing challenges and focus on oil and gas development in the country.

Source: Company announcement via email