Research work for geothermal greenhouses to be done in Estevan, Canada

Research work for geothermal greenhouses to be done in Estevan, Canada Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada (source: Nick Koustrup / flickr, Creative Commons)
Carlo Cariaga 27 May 2022

A research project under the University of Regina will assess the viability of integrating geothermal energy for a planned greenhouse complex in the city of Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The University of Regina (U of R) in the city of Estevan in Saskatchewan, Canada will be embarking on a research project to assess the viability of integrating geothermal heat for a proposed greenhouse complex. The team will be working with start-up Evolution Growers and the research work will be funded partially by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC).

The research project is expected to last two years and has a total budget of CAD 240,000. CAD 60,000 will be provided by PTRC, while the remained will come from Mitacs, a non-profit research organization. There are three steps in the planned research program:

  1. Exploration of medium to high-temperature geothermal reservoirs in Saskatchewan to secure a long-term, sustainable energy source for the Evolution Growers’ site;
  2. Development of a tool to determine geothermal energy conversion and methods to maximize the energy efficiency of the operations;
  3. Development of a cost-effective and resilient system for the integration of geothermal, solar, wind, and battery storage at the project site.

“The greenhouses will tap varying energy sources for our heating and lighting,” said Evolution Growers owner and First Nation entrepreneur Derrick Big Eagle. “There aren’t many commercial greenhouse operations between Winnipeg and Alberta, and the demand is high for fresh vegetables and produce grown locally.”

The value of the project isn’t just the use of clean energy for the greenhouse, but also the reduction in emissions that will result from growing the produce locally instead of having to transport it from elsewhere, noted Big Eagle.

VP for Research at U of R Kathy McNutt also noted that the project will leverage on the skills and talents that were previously focused on hydrocarbon resources.

Source: Discover Estevan