Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Canada: Alberta Town Could Make the Switch to Geothermal in 2019

All’s Well That Ends (Oil) Wells (Research2Reality)

Across Alberta sit 75,000 abandoned oil wells. But in one town, they're being converted to create sustainable energy -- and new jobs.

Abandoned oil wells are an environmental hazard, and the cost of cleanup and land restoration is so high that many companies shrug off the responsibility and pay a compensation fee to landowners instead of decommissioning them properly. There are over 75,000 inactive wells on record in Alberta alone.

But Hinton, an Alberta town near the Rockies and west of Edmonton, has a plan to convert theirs into geothermal energy hubs.

The University of Alberta is partnering with Hinton and Epoch Energy to retrofit inactive wells, with hopes of generating megawatts of sustainable power for the community, all while creating jobs for the highly skilled local oil and gas workers that are currently out of work.

The orphaned wells already drill deep into the ground, providing access to heated water that could be pumped into power generators, and later returned to the ground. Five kilometers underground, water reaches temperatures around 120 degrees C.