Alberta No. 1 and University of Alberta Partner on Project to Combine Carbon Sequestration and Geothermal Energy Production
November 4, 2021
EDMONTON – No. 1 Geothermal (Alberta No. 1) and the University of Alberta (U of A) announce a research partnership to study the combination of carbon sequestration and geothermal energy production. This first-of-kind investigation will be carried out at the University of Alberta and at the Alberta No. 1 project site south of Grande Prairie. The results of this research could increase the economic and environmental benefits of conventional geothermal energy, expanding its potential into additional non-traditional markets.
“Combining carbon sequestration with emission-free, baseload energy production has the potential to make geothermal energy not only carbon zero, but carbon negative,” says Dr. Catherine Hickson, CEO of Alberta No. 1. “We are thrilled to partner with global leaders in carbon sequestration at the University of Alberta and help continue to develop Albertan energy transition expertise. We believe that this research will be a catalyst, driving the creation of made-in-Alberta carbon reduction solutions.”
Rick Chalaturnyk (second left) discusses his research on carbon capture and storage with colleagues at the U of A's Geomechanical Reservoir Experimental Facility. A new agreement will see research on capturing and storing carbon within a geothermal reservoir take place at the facility and at the Alberta No. 1 project site. (Photo: Hope Walls)
Alberta is uniquely positioned above deep formations that house both rich hydrocarbon resources and hot water. To produce geothermal energy, this hot water is pumped to surface, and the heat is extracted for power and direct use. The now cooled water is then reinjected into the subsurface to be reheated. Among other carbon reduction opportunities for Alberta, the proposed research will investigate co-injecting carbon within these conventional geothermal wells, building on the value additions of drilling for this renewable resource. With their shared subsurface utilization, the co-development of geothermal energy production and carbon sequestration is a natural fit.
“Geothermal is seen as an extremely efficient, clean, renewable resource of power generation,” says Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “This corner of Alberta is one of the places where researchers have very little information about the carbon sequestration possibilities, and that expansion of the capacity to provide carbon sequestration to carbon-emitting industries is a critical element necessary for Alberta to achieve its carbon reduction goals.”
Diane Jeon, Marketing Manager
About Alberta No. 1
Alberta No. 1 is the province’s first conventional geothermal energy project. Located in the Municipal District of Greenview, the project is proudly being built in Alberta by Albertans. Owned by No. 1 Geothermal Limited Partnership, Alberta No. 1 is developed and managed by Edmonton-based Terrapin Geothermics. Alberta No. 1 is partially funded by Natural Resources Canada as part of their Emerging Renewable Power Program.
Project highlights include:
10 megawatts of clean, constant power – enough to power 2,500 North American homes
985 terajoules per year of clean, baseload heat for a district heating system, providing heat to several light industrial facilities
96,000 tonnes of carbon offsets – equal to 20,878 cars being taken off the road
300 indirect and direct jobs