42 Replies to “Geothermal power project near Estevan is a “Go””

  1. I wish them all the best of luck and success. Geothermal energy production is a lot more complicated and difficult than most people think.

      1. To know that, you’d have to amortize the capital investment in construction and maintenance against the lifetime of the plant against the same, but with fuel costs added for a gas plant.
        Somehow, I don’t think you’ve done that.

    1. And if it is successful, I wonder what the parasitic affect of thousands of geothermal projects will have on our pricked and bruised home..

  2. “It’s a project that promises emissions-free baseload power generation, using heat from the centre of the earth.”

    3.5 KM deep =/= centre of earth

    Water temp is 150 degrees C, what is the efficiency of the Organic Ranking Cycle engine they plan to use?

    How much taxpayers money was spent to get this off the ground?

    1. The temperature gradient increases with depth. Well known geological fact. That heat comes from the centre of the earth. Also well known.

      1. Let’s hope they can get the 120 deg.C temp. to the surface with something even CLOSE to the rated nameplate of the kewl new clean-green geothermal well.

        Sorry … but I’m lukewarm on the project.

        All things “alternative” energy suggest skepticism is prudent.

  3. Have any of these even worked economically?
    Only governments … the Township of Langley (BC) Municipal Hall is running one. Langley taxpayers (of course) paid for it during renovations. I’m sure the building’s actual owner said a big thank you. Yes, I am one of those who think that any level of government should not be using my money for “experimental” projects.

  4. The heat comes from the decay of radioactive material in the centre of the earth. So this is essentially a low efficiency nuclear power plant.

    1. A nuclear plant that needs no re-fueling, and is immune to leaks or meltdowns.
      I still think CANDUs are a better deal for Sk.

  5. I heard the one place that runs exclusively on Geothermal Energy is Hell. Apparently, its also safe and effective.

    1. Well the Satanists were recently sponsored by Pfizer at the Grammy Awards Show so that all makes sense now…!
      Sulphur and brimstone are apparently now a selling feature…who would have guessed.

      Next question: “Would you like smoking or non-smoking?” 🙂


      Hans Rupprecht, Commander in Chief

      1st St Nicolaas Army
      Army Group “True North”

    2. Iceland gets a good chunk of their power from geothermal, but consider it’s a country of only about 300K people and they have semi-active volcanoes in their midst. So not a large load and fairly good conditions for it to work. It might not scale up much higher if their population were 2x-3x what it is.

      Kind of like how PEI gets almost all their electricity from wind these days. Small province, ideal wind conditions. Works for them, but won’t scale anywhere else.

  6. We have a geothermal furnace for heating and cooling. Was expensive to install. About the time you think maybe you might be saving some money it needs a repair. An expensive repair. They had to replace our circuit board and the thing has never, in my opinion, worked right since. The fan runs so fast on start up you can’t here the tv and it will wake you when asleep. I’ve complained to the only repair person in our area and he says it’s my duct work. Ok it worked years fine before but suddenly the duct work isn’t right. Next time it needs a repair I am getting it taken out.

  7. But will it be cost effective?

    To be a valid source of energy it must be competitive with existing forms, such as gas or nuclear.

  8. We have no indications about the economics from this article. Perhaps a link to something that adds to that can be provided, Brian.

    It seems to have been agressively evaluated form an engineering perspective. I suspect it will work in that regard.

    I hope it proves to work and return the investment with a nice profit. I wish them well.

  9. Had a geothermal system installed over ten years ago. The difference in heating was about 5,000 Kwh per year. Prior to installing it we used baseboard units and only in the areas we were using. Now we heat the whole house and use 5,000 Kwh of energy less. It was expensive to install but the money saved over the last ten years with the yearly increases in rate factored in, it has just about paid for itself.

    1. Those kind of systems do not generate any electricity. The are basically heat pumps that either dump heat into the 50 F ground in the summer, or pull heat from the same temp. ground in the winter, and are totally unsuitable for power generation.

  10. Hmmm…
    – not a lot of electricity, 20 MW is puny
    – no mention of $$$, what is expected cost of electricity per KWh? how much of “…initial government funding is confirmed”
    – if this project is such a sure-fire thing, why is any govt money required? surely all those venture capitalists would happily step forward, unless of course the whole business case is based on govt taxpayer money
    – love the comments about using drilling, tubing, ORC power production from gas pipeline etc knowledge and expertise from the oil and gas industry
    – will this project actually produce much net electricity? viz “Another major issue has been dealing with parasitic power loss – in other words, reducing the amount of power needed to pump the hot water up, and inject it back down, while still producing an economic amount of power”

  11. Is this trading off the devil we know for the devil we don’t know? What are the long-term consequences of cooling the earth’s interior?

      1. Not necessarily. Every new solution to save the environment seems to come with negative environmental consequences.

        1. You have OD’d on the koolaid.
          Using energy has dangers, so what? Stop using it? The only suicide-pact energy use humans have ever come up with is natural gas, its the only one that if we exploit all of it, we’re all dead. Coal, oil, nuclear, etc have no such threat built-in, even if we exploit every scrap we can get our hands on.
          The same is not true for natural gas.

  12. I tend to think that this is more experimental than anything else. Exploiting geothermal in Canada is a lot harder than in Iceland. If we can make it work, and develop expertise in the field, that’s a good thing, and its something that is a valid task for the government. The gov’t used to do magnetometer surveys to find iron deposits, etc, and that was a good thing, too. Same with developing the CANDU.

    1. “She does not anticipate issues with salt precipitating out of the brine as the temperature is dropped.”

      Will see where this goes in the first 8 MW phase.
      Does sound experimental.
      Statoil put in a water reclamation plant to recycle brine from SAGD. That water went into once thru steam boilers supplying 1200PSI steam into the subgrade oilfield for gravity drainage.
      For example the total steam plant capacity at this one oilsands site equaled the former coal generation plant in Thunder Bay, about 750 MW

    2. The world needs more (warm) Canada. A warmer Canada will benefit the whole world, more crops, more useable land. Let’s make Canada warm again; burn fossil fuels and save the planet.

      1. Yep. Imagine 2-3 growing seasons on the prairies and the steppes of Russia, I’m sure the idea gives the WEF types the sads.

  13. I still can’t figure out why we’re not building CANDUs all over the place, and selling them to other countries.
    There are among the least dangerous in terms of proliferation, can burn spent fuel from LWRs and unenriched uranium 238, can be re-fueled without a shutdown, and they make lots of tritium, which is worth about $40K/gram.
    We could charge other countries good money to take their LWR spent fuel off their hands, and as far as storage of our own waste is concerned, we have one of the biggest and most geologically stable rock formations on the freakin’ planet.

    1. Because the Fing greens don’t like them. Somehow, like the FNs, they have a veto on all public policy.

      1. “Somehow, like the FNs, they have a veto on all public policy.”
        That came to pass in a “democracy.”
        I think that letting your average Joe have a part in deciding how to run a country is about as smart as letting your average Joe have a part in how to design a spaceship.
        Humans are insane psychopaths, it seems, as no-one can be trusted, and it seems to me that the only truly long-term goals we can embrace are a form of Jihad. All of our ancient knowledge, from the Greeks to the Jews to the Americans has failed to secure freedom and prosperity in the face of insane ideologues.
        The only thing that remains is anarcho-capitalism, but the limp-wristed, yellow-bellied, panty-waisted cowards who demand to be ruled over like the peons that they are make up the bulk of humanity, so that ain’t gonna happen, so the best we can hope for is repeating history over and over and over again, this time with nukes. Roll on Armageddon.