CaDCR staff writer
Field construction on a 25 megawatt geothermal power project in Saskatchewan is expected to begin in fall 2023 while work on surface facilities and drilling are set to start in Q4, DEEP Earth Energy Production announced recently.
DEEP, an energy firm based in Saskatoon, has been testing the feasibility of geothermal energy in the southeast for several years, drilling several test wells in the area from 2018 to 2021.
The project is anticipated to be the first of its kind in the province and the country.
“Geothermal power generation has the capacity to provide renewable, reliable baseload energy (24/7), and the DEEP project in Saskatchewan is anticipated to be the first Canadian, 100 per cent naturally sourced geothermal power facility,” the company said in its release.
It also said its use of oil and gas drilling techniques to create a renewable energy supply “may be globally transformative.”
“We are a go,” said DEEP CEO, Kirsten Marcia. “There is a market that is hungry for truly sustainable, renewable power projects. The technology is proven, the leases are in place and initial government funding is confirmed.”
DEEP’s “ribcage” layout and geothermal well field design are leading edge and may be a globally transformative application of modern oil and gas drilling and completions techniques, which will be applied for the first time on a renewable energy project.
Wells with equivalent depth, lateral length and step out are routinely drilled in the hydrocarbon resource plays of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and DEEP will be leveraging this local knowledge and drilling capability. The well design also incorporates learnings from DEEP’s five vertical and one horizontal test wells drilled from 2018 – 2021. To help prevent corrosion, all wells are engineered to be completed with carbon steel tubing that incorporates a non-metallic coating.
The subsurface geological reservoir model predicts that the well spacing for the first 25 MW field development will utilize only 10% of DEEP’s entire subsurface lease that covers 39,568 hectares (97,775 acres). This large subsurface lease is anticipated to support the build-out of multiple power facilities greater than 200 MW. 25 MW is roughly equivalent to the power required to supply 25,000 households.
In addition to geothermal power production and with proper regulatory approvals, the DEEP subsurface lease contains separate stratigraphic intervals that are anticipated to have the characteristics necessary for CO2 storage. DEEP is exploring strategic CO2 storage opportunities in efforts to develop a major multi-use CO2 storage field.
DEEP was named the Exceptional Engineering/Geoscience Project Award Winner of 2022 by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS).