The drilling is required as part of the final construction engineering for a five-megawatt power facility. Final testing results from the drilling program will refine the assumptions made on the reservoir and effectively optimise the design parameters. Once complete, it will be Canada's first geothermal facility.
"We are thrilled to announce these amazing steps forward for the DEEP project," said Kirsten Marcia, president and CEO of DEEP. "This project will deploy conventional drilling and proven power generating technology that, when paired together, will introduce an entirely unique renewable power resource for the province of Saskatchewan."
DEEP's long-term strategy is to build hundreds of megawatts of geothermal power facilities with a vision of a cleaner energy future for our province supported by SaskPower's goal to reduce emissions from 2005 levels by 40 per cent by 2030.
The proposed facility would generate renewable, zero-emission, baseload power from a hot (120˚C) aquifer. The produced electricity will be sold under an existing power purchase agreement with SaskPower and will generate roughly the power required by 5,000 homes and offset about 27,000t of carbon dioxide per year, equal to removing 7,400 cars off the roads annually.
DEEP awarded the drilling contract to Horizon Drilling with drilling operations commencing on November 15, 2018. Frontier Project Solutions is providing engineering and project management services. The vertical well is designed for preliminary flow testing of the Winnipeg and Deadwood formations at a depth of 3,500m - at the base of the Williston Sedimentary Basin, making it the deepest well ever drilled in Saskatchewan.
"Geothermal is one of the most dependable sources of renewable energy globally and the only renewable that can produce reliable baseload power that runs 24/7," added Marcia. "The facility will use Organic Rankine Cycle turbine technology to generate clean baseload power. This is well-established technology that pumps the geothermal fluid through heat exchangers, then transfers that heat to an organic fluid that vaporises and drives a generator to produce clean electrical power. This project has the potential to launch Canada's geothermal power industry alongside the United States, which has been leading this sector globally for decades."