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City of Estevan and economic partnership engage PTRC to conduct geothermal feasibility study

Feasibility study expected in the spring of 2023.
Estevan Sign
The City of Estevan and neighbouring municipalities have made an announcement regarding geothermal heating.

ESTEVAN - The City of Estevan and the Southeast Saskatchewan Economic Partnership (SSEP) have awarded a grant to the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) to conduct a feasibility study on the potential for developing geothermal heating in the area.

SSEP is comprised of the Town of Bienfait and the RMs of Coalfields and Estevan.

The study, to be managed by the PTRC, will investigate the best subsurface strata from which to harness heat; and investigate such important features as productive capacities, flow rates and temperatures within eligible formations, optimal well orientations to maximize project longevity, and make recommendations on how best to develop geothermal systems for buildings and businesses.

The grant is being provided via the Municipal Coal Transition Assistance Program (MCTAP), with the aim of creating a viable geothermal source in the region. The PTRC, which manages the Aquistore CO2 Deep Saline Storage Project near Boundary Dam’s CCS facility, has an extensive knowledge of the layers underlying the region and will tap its considerable network of subsurface experts to conduct the research project.

The PTRC is already sponsoring a separate geothermal and energy integration research project through the University of Regina, in co-operation with Evolution Growers, a First Nations company planning to build greenhouses in the Estevan area. This larger characterization and proof-of-concept study might assist that particular project and many other businesses looking to tap into geothermal heat.

“We were delighted to be approached by the PTRC, with its stellar research record with proven research results, to direct and complete this feasibility study,” said Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig. “The development of geothermal energy could lead to the creation of highly qualified personnel in the growing green energy field, and help reduce energy costs for both homes and businesses. It will also help create a new geothermal economy for the City of Estevan and surrounding communities.”

“This study will be useful to identify sites with geothermal potential and be used to assist in attracting industry to the region seeking a competitive advantage over other jurisdictions,” added SSEP chairman Paul Carroll.

“Our expertise in subsurface research is extensive,” said PTRC CEO Ran Narayanasamy. “The Aquistore project, so near Estevan, has allowed us to characterize much of the subsurface in the area, right down to 3,500 metres. And our work on making oil recovery in places like Weyburn less environmentally impactful through the injection of CO2 highlights our commitment to cleaner energy.”

The final feasibility report – complete with a decision on front-end engineering and design of a geothermal well – is expected in the spring of 2023.

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