SEE­ING IS BELIEV­ING

Este­van project to cre­ate 100 jobs

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - D.C. FRASER [email protected]­media.com Twit­ter.com/dcfraser

Kirsten Mar­cia, pres­i­dent and CEO of DEEP Earth En­ergy Pro­duc­tion Cor­po­ra­tion, looks on as Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau ex­am­ines a core sam­ple dur­ing a visit to the Sub­sur­face Ge­o­log­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory in Regina. Canada’s first geo­ther­mal power fa­cil­ity near Este­van, spear­headed by DEEP, is get­ting $25.6 mil­lion in fed­eral fund­ing.

Este­van Mayor Roy Lud­wig ap­plauded Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment of $25.6 mil­lion in fed­eral fund­ing for Canada’s first geo­ther­mal power fa­cil­ity, to be lo­cated near his city in the heart of the strug­gling oil­patch.

Say­ing he was “very happy” with the news, Lud­wig added, “ev­ery job in our econ­omy is help­ful” and noted the clean tech­nol­ogy is also a pos­i­tive. Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials are ex­pect­ing the project will cre­ate roughly 100 jobs.

On his second and last day in the city, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau an­nounced the fund­ing at a news con­fer­ence at the Sub­sur­face Ge­o­log­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory in Regina.

The gov­ern­ment says the five-megawatt fa­cil­ity will pro­duce enough en­ergy to power about 5,000 homes, all while tak­ing the equiv­a­lent of the yearly emis­sions of 7,400 cars out of the at­mos­phere.

The project is the first of its kind in Canada and is led by DEEP Earth En­ergy Pro­duc­tion Cor­po­ra­tion, a Saskatchewan pri­vately held cor­po­ra­tion that, ac­cord­ing to its web­site, has a mission to de­velop Saskatchewan’s geo­ther­mal re­sources for power gen­er­a­tion with a vi­sion is to be a pro­ducer of se­cure, sta­ble and sus­tain­able en­ergy.

In May, the provin­cial gov­ern­ment an­nounced it was in­vest­ing an ad­di­tional $175,000 in the project through In­no­va­tion Saskatchewan.

It has also re­ceived $1.3 mil­lion from Nat­u­ral Re­sources Canada, which DEEP says helps mit­i­gate fi­nan­cial risks to al­low re­new­able re­sources to play a larger role in the prov­ince’s power sup­ply.

DEEP also an­nounced Fri­day that drilling was fin­ished on the 3,500-me­tre preliminary well, mak­ing it the long­est well ever drilled in Saskatchewan.

Flow test­ing will now be used to de­ter­mine the de­sign and size of the wells that will go into op­er­a­tion.

Kirsten Mar­cia, pres­i­dent and CEO of DEEP, said the next phase will see fur­ther test­ing of the new tech­nol­ogy, “so we know what the next phase of drilling is go­ing to be, how we do the drilling.

“This is a re­ally ex­cit­ing fund­ing op­por­tu­nity to share with Nat­u­ral Re­sources Canada. We’re thrilled to have the con­fi­dence in this project, to see this for­ward. Like all new projects, the first one tends to be more ex­pen­sive than the tenth one, and to have this sup­port means this project will be a suc­cess,” she said.

Lud­wig said “full credit” for the project should go to Mar­cia.

Provin­cial In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter Tina Beaudry-mel­lor echoed that sup­port, say­ing she, “couldn’t be more pleased” to see her get credit for the “in­cred­i­ble project,” which the prov­ince has sup­ported fi­nan­cially since 2014.

In Novem­ber 2018, DEEP said it hoped to have the project op­er­a­tional within two and a half years.

Geo­ther­mal en­ergy har­nesses heat from the earth’s crust and trans­forms it into elec­tric­ity. The fa­cil­ity will use “fa­mil­iar drilling tech­nolo­gies from the oil, gas and min­ing in­dus­tries to tap into this re­li­able en­ergy source,” the gov­ern­ment says.

The fa­cil­ity will draw steam­ing hot wa­ter, which reg­is­ters at about 120 C, from deep un­der­ground, pump­ing it up 3,400 me­tres to run tur­bines on the sur­face.

DEEP be­lieves this is just the first of many, likely larger, fa­cil­i­ties to be built in Saskatchewan along the U.S. bor­der to take ad­van­tage of the abun­dance of hot wa­ter within the aquifer.

Ear­lier on Fri­day morn­ing, Trudeau also par­tic­i­pated in a round­table dis­cus­sion re­gard­ing fresh wa­ter man­age­ment at an event held at the Ho­tel Saskatchewan.

TROY FLEECE

TROY FLEECE

Kirsten Mar­cia, pres­i­dent and CEO of DEEP Earth En­ergy Pro­duc­tion Cor­po­ra­tion, ex­plains the map­ping for a geo­ther­mal power fa­cil­ity to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau at the Sub­sur­face Ge­o­log­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory in Regina. The Este­van plant will be­come Canada’s first of its kind.

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