If all goes according to plan, rural Saskatchewan will be home to Canada's first geothermal plant.
Saskatchewan company Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. expects to start building the plant - which will use heat trapped deep beneath the earth to run turbines that will turn that heat energy into electricity - next year, the company explains.
The plant, which is expected to be located near Estevan, will produce five megawatts of power, roughly the power required for 5,000 homes, DEEP states.
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“This first project could launch a brand new sustainable power supply industry for Canada," said Kirsten Marcia, President and CEO of DEEP, adding that geothermal energy provides strong return on investment, taps into a virtually endless source of energy and has zero emissions from fossil fuels.
The plant, which will tap into a hot aquifer located three kilometres under the surface, can offset 40,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the emissions from 8,016 cars.
Marcia told Bloomberg the $35-mllion project is meant to be the first of several geothermal plants - some producing as much as 20 megawatts popping alongside Saskatchewan oilfields.
The plant will be a binary geothermal power plants using the Organic Rankine Cycle, which has become the preferred means of exploiting hot sedimentary aquifers, states DEEP.
In Iceland, geothermal energy accounts for nearly one third of the electricity produced in the country. By contrast, 0.1 per cent of electricity in Iceland is produced from fossil fuels.