The Town of Rainbow Lake in a remote area of Alberta may soon become one of the first communities in Canada to be powered by renewable geothermal energy by 2028.

This project relies on Calgary-based E2E Energy Solutions (E2E) and its patent-pending Enhanced Geothermal Reservoir Recovery System (EGRRS). This process allows for large-scale geothermal development by upgrading the temperature of saline aquifers to be commercially viable where conventional exploitation methods do not work.

The Rainbow Lake project will be completed in three phases which include the EGRRS pilot, construction of a surface geothermal facility, and design and installation of the required infrastructure within the community. By the end of the project, the district of Rainbow Lake will be entirely powered by geothermal energy.

“The Town of Rainbow Lake has been researching the vast geothermal potential our Northwest corner of Alberta provides for six years now. We are happy to have found a valuable partner in E2E Energy Solutions to help bring all of these past years of study into a tangible future,” said Mayor Michelle Farris.

This initiative will provide economic benefits to the Town and surrounding communities through job creation in construction and operation of the plant. It will also provide significant benefits to the DeneTha’ First Nation who have expressed support of the project.

“The Rainbow Lake geothermal project will provide new opportunities and economic benefits for the DeneTha’ and the Rainbow Lake region as a whole,” said Fred Didzena, director of the Lands Department. “It will greatly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a net-zero sustainable future.”

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Geothermal energy is an underutilized renewable energy source in Canada due to economical and technical limitations associated with conventional geothermal extraction processes. E2E’s process may have a significant impact on the future of commercialized geothermal energy in the country and create significant opportunities for emissions reductions.

Domenico Daprocida, the founder of E2E, recognized the necessary shift away from fossil fuels and wanted to help find solutions. “We see the incredible potential for geothermal in Canada, especially where we can repurpose existing oil and gas infrastructure to produce renewable energy. Our goal is to empower communities and make energy transition economical, and sustainable.”

Driven by the EGRRS technology, this project will receive technical support from the University of Calgary’s Energi Simulation Centre for Geothermal Systems Research (GeoS), which is a leading geothermal research Centre in Canada. GeoS committed to a partnership with E2E to develop a research support program towards various aspects of the implementation including lending expertise towards system, modelling, and operations optimization.

Pending the success of the pilot, the project will move to the next phases, which involve the construction of a surface geothermal facility, and the design and installation of energy infrastructure throughout the town.

The potential financial benefits of this project could be substantial; residents would no longer need to pay substantial power distribution costs and the cost of operation would not be subject to the carbon levy.

Featured image credit: Town of Rainbow Lake

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