The first geothermal power plant is underway

Tired of hearing about wind, solar, and hydrogen energy? You’re in luck. There’s a hot new renewable energy source on the scene that is literally so hot

What happened: Canada’s first-ever large-scale geothermal power plant is now under construction. Saskatchewan company DEEP Earth Energy Production, which received approval (and ~$25.5 million in funding) from the federal government in 2019, has begun initial engineering work at a site in Southeastern Saskatchewan.

  • Tapping into geothermal reserves requires drilling techniques very similar to those used for fossil fuel extraction, meaning projects will utilize the oil and gas sector’s deep (and potentially underemployed) talent pool.

Cooool… what is that? In case geothermal energy is one of those things you’ve always pretended to know the meaning of (guilty!), it works by tapping into underground reservoirs of water heated by proximity to the Earth’s core and using their steam to generate electricity.

  • Geothermal is a more reliable energy source than other green options like wind and solar because, unlike wind and the sun, the Earth’s core keeps on running 24/7.

  • It’s a major energy source for countries around the world, including New Zealand, Kenya, and Iceland (where it generates a quarter of the country’s electricity.)

Yes, but: Canada’s geothermal industry is still in its early stages. An abundance of other resources, plus the fact that most Canadians don’t live near geothermal sites (making it pricy to actually deliver the energy they produce), has led to trepidation in large-scale investing. 

Why it matters: As Canada looks to go green, geothermal is another potential renewable energy source that can be used to heat and power households and businesses. The power plant in Saskatchewan will provide enough power for 25,000 households.