DEEP is developing a unique geothermal (or earth heat) power facility in southern Saskatchewan. This project will establish the first geothermal power facility in Canada.
DEEP will harness high-quality geothermal resources with existing drilling and power generation technologies to establish a long-term renewable baseload (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) power supply. DEEP’s long-term goal is to develop 100s of megawatts (MW) of baseload power facilities from small, scalable and repeatable 20 MW power plants, each which could power up to 20,000 households.
Geothermal Power Benefits
- Baseload – Geothermal is the only renewable energy source that can produce baseload power 24/7.
- Green – Zero carbon-based fuel consumption and facilities have a small footprint that does not interfere with bird migration
- Geothermal power generation produces a useful by-product – HEAT – which can be integrated to supply greenhouses, fish farms, food processing and other industrial applications.
- Ongoing supply – With proper reservoir management, geothermal resources will not run out meaning plants fuelled by this energy source can run indefinitely.
- Building on innovation – The DEEP project will build on Saskatchewan’s world-class drilling technology and expertise.
DEEP Project Highlights
- A $2M Prefeasibility Study was completed in 2014, funded in partnership by SaskPower and Natural Resources Canada.
- DEEP secured an initial Power Purchase Agreement with SaskPower in 2017
- A Federal announcement was made in January 2019 for $25.6M of funding through Natural Resources Canada to provide funding for the work needed to delineate the geothermal resource
- This government funding was matched with private equity investment
- DEEP’s first well (Border-1) was drilled to 3,530 m in depth in December 2018 and retrieved 212.6 metres of core across the targeted reservoir. Drill stem tests (DST) results on the well were positive, indicating reservoir brine transmissivity that exceeded the minimum threshold for project feasibility.
- The Border-1 well was flow tested during the summer of 2019 and produced into a 1,500 m3 tank farm over 3 days. After a multi day reservoir build up test, zonal injectivity testing was completed. During the flow test, a detailed brine chemistry sampling program was conducted. The results of this test work were used to optimize the next well
- During the winter of 2019/20, DEEP successfully drilled an additional four wells into the target reservoir. Following the winter drilling program, an extended “loop” test was planned and executed between Border-3 (producer) and Border-1 (injector). The ~40 day test was completed in the summer of 2020 at rate of 500m3/day of produced brine. The daily volume was limited by the max pump rate of the electric submersible pump (ESP) that was in the Border 4 well.
- With the positive results of Canada’s first ever geothermal loop test in hand, DEEP drilled and stimulated Canada’s first ever geothermal horizontal well (Border-5) into the target formation. At 3,500m depth and 2,000m of lateral length, this well was a significant achievement and the first of its kind in the world
- A second larger volume (~1800m3/day) loop test if currently underway producing from the newly drilled horizontal well (Border-5) and injecting into Border-1 and Border-3. The data obtained from this loop test will be used to finalize the reservoir information needed for the feasibility report as well as final design parameters for Canada’s first Geothermal power facility. The design output is 20MW.
- DEEP has the geothermal rights within a 39,120-hectare lease of space which covers the area needed for over 100MW of potential geothermal development.
- DEEP has also successfully acquired mineral rights for 4 subsurface mineral rights permits totalling 5,016 hectares. The permit blocks are located along the Saskatchewan-North Dakota border, approximately 30 kilometres southwest of Estevan, in an area that is prospective for brine minerals such as lithium. The permit blocks surround DEEP’s current drilling activity.
DEEP’s project is located in Southeastern Saskatchewan, a few miles north of the US border near the city of Estevan. Analysis of thousands of public well records revealed the presence of a vast, “pancake-like’ Hot Sedimentary Aquifer (HAS) in the Williston Basin. To reach the hot aquifer, DEEP is using conventional drilling to drill the longest well ever drilled in the province (3,500 metres) and power generating technology, which is well established around the world. This project is unique because DEEP is pairing these established technologies with a deep hot aquifer. DEEP is mining heat to produce sustainable, renewable power.
The power industry’s changing – and SaskPower is too.