Skip to content

Saskatchewan's first geothermal project greens provincial power grid

Surface facility construction and drilling will commence later this year, with first power production estimated by summer 2024
DEEP Earth drilling
Saskatchewan's first geothermal project is moving ahead, with Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. hoping to be in production by next year.

Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. (DEEP) has finalized a strategy for the engineering, construction and commissioning of its first geothermal project in southeast Saskatchewan, a venture that promises to be the country's first naturally sourced geothermal power facility.

The Saskatoon-based exploration company has commenced engineering and procurement activities, with field construction planned for the third quarter.

“We are a go,” said DEEP CEO Kirsten Marcia, who is originally from Estevan. “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 is positioned to move forward with the construction phase of a 25-megawatt power facility in southeast Saskatchewan, which includes a five-megawatt power purchase agreement with SaskPower. The facility is planned to be constructed in two phases, with five megawatts followed by an additional 20 megawatts at the same location.

Production and injection wells are planned to be drilled to a depth of approximately 3 1/2 kilometres and horizontally for an additional three kilometres.

DEEP says its “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.

The geothermal resource is designed to generate power utilizing Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, which is fast becoming the most deployed technology for new geothermal installations.

The subsurface geological reservoir model predicts that the well spacing for the first 25-megawatt field development will utilize only 10 per cent 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 megawatts. Twenty-five megawatts is roughly equivalent to the power required to supply 25,000 households.

DEEP has concluded that the reservoir characteristics could support the construction of multiple geothermal expansion facilities in southeast Saskatchewan over several years. DEEP says it is grateful for the ongoing support from Natural Resources Canada, SaskPower and private partners as DEEP is now firmly positioned to convert its geothermal resource into renewable energy.

GeothermEx (SLB) has begun a final review of DEEP’s geothermal resource. GeothermEx’s due diligence has resulted in more than 8.5 gigawatts of geothermal power and related investments exceeding US $14 billion.

Surface facility construction and drilling are planned to commence in the fourth quarter, with first power production estimated by summer 2024.