WBPC 2019 Abstract #33
The DEEP (“DEEP”) Earth Energy Production geothermal power project is located in Southeastern Saskatchewan, and a few miles north of the United States border. Analysis of thousands of public oil and gas well records in the area revealed the presence of a vast Hot Sedimentary Aquifer (HSA) at 3,500 metres depth in the Williston Basin. This aquifer has extensive laterally continuity for some hundreds of kilometres, is 150 metres thick and has a measured temperatures in the range of 120 – 130˚C. The Williston Basin HSA alone may support several hundred Megawatts (MW) of power generating capacity, due to the extent of this vast resource.
A Prefeasibility Study was completed in 2014 through grant funding from Natural Resources Canada and SaskPower Corporation. The study concluded that the project is viable from an economic, legal, environmental, and technical perspective. The full Bankable Feasibility Study is scheduled to be completed later in 2019.
In December 2018, DEEP successfully drilled the first geothermal test well. The vertical well, reached its target total depth of 3,530 metres, the deepest well ever drilled in Saskatchewan’s history. Preliminary data, acquired to assess the geothermal reservoir, indicates bottom-hole temperatures exceeding 125 ˚C, in addition to positive reservoir pressure and permeability that exceeds the minimum threshold for project feasibility. This was a major step forward for the first renewable power project of its kind in Canada. Final testing results from the drilling program will refine the assumptions made on the reservoir and effectively optimize the design parameters. This has the potential to be a transformative energy innovation for Saskatchewan.
The next steps for the project include fluid analysis and drilling an injection well in Q2 of 2019. During production testing operations, brine from the source well will be injected and disposed into the injection well, enabling the first production/injection doublet. Further geothermal parameters will be acquired during this process, which includes a longer term (30 day) injection, production flow and build up test. Final feasibility engineering reporting are expected by October 2019, with full scale construction commencing in 2020 and final commissioning scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.
DEEP’s long term strategy is to build geothermal power facilities with the capability of generating hundreds of MW of power. This strategy complies with a vision of a cleaner energy future for our province and simultaneously supports SaskPower’s goal to reduce 2005 emission levels by 40 per cent by 2030. 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 27,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equal to removing 7,400 cars off the roads annually. In addition to revenue from direct power sales to SaskPower, DEEP is exploring additional revenue streams including a commercial greenhouse development, which would be a new opportunity for the Saskatchewan agricultural sector.