Energy minister cautions NDP on wholesale adoption of geothermal power

The New Democratic Party pledged to go into geothermal electrical power production in a big way, in a policy announcement by NDP Leader Ryan Meili on Sept. 17. But the Saskatchewan Party Minister of Energy and Resources Bronwyn Eyre thinks they are overreaching.

“Now the NDP has taken a stab at geothermal. Last year, their big plan was to replace every pipeline in the province of whether the pipeline needed to be replaced or not. And remember, that would have been at a cost of $50 billion for SaskEnergy, alone,” she said by phone from Saskatoon on Sept. 18.

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“Geothermal is still in its early stages. It's very high cost technology. It's not close to being a replacement for current baseload power. And, you know, it might be a part of the mix,” she said.

Economic viability is an issue, she noted, among other issues. 

“The NDP has to think about some of the broader repercussions of what they're calling for, certainly around cost.”

“That technology is a ways off and it's not with issues and we need to make sure, as a province, that we proceed cautiously with these technologies,” she said.

The Saskatchewan Party government has provided various forms of support over recent years for the Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. geothermal power generation project south of Torquay, including SaskPower signing a power purchase agreement with the company.