Potential Clean Energy Hub
- The west coast of Newfoundland has some of the greatest potential for wind energy development and green hydrogen production in North America, strongly encouraged and incentivized by the provincial and federal government;
- The area’s wind resource, combined with important infrastructure and potential world class salt cavern storage, makes the concept of a “Clean Energy Hub” extremely compelling;
- By partnering with companies and experts in the clean energy space, Atlas’ spinout company aims to make this “Clean Energy Hub” a reality.
- Atlas shareholders, through a share distribution on the upcoming Date of Record, will become early investors in this exciting project with plans to list the company on a Canadian stock exchange in 2022.
The Government of Canada recently developed and published a “Hydrogen Strategy for Canada” (https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/climate-change/the-hydrogen-strategy/23080) in which it predicted: “With worldwide demand for hydrogen increasing, the global market could reach over $11 trillion by 2050. Each region of Canada can utilize their unique resources to produce and deploy hydrogen domestically as well as to supply a growing export market. Based on their existing country strategies, demand potential, and proximity, Europe, Asia, and the United States have been identified as potential export markets for Canadian clean hydrogen. Implementing the Hydrogen Strategy can spark early economic recovery, lead to a $50 billion domestic hydrogen sector, and generate more than 350,000 high paying jobs from coast to coast.”
Energy storage is a key component to deliver clean energy transition. With climate change and associated green environmental policies driving significant investment toward alternate energy sources and global carbon emission reduction, underground storage will play an important role in Canada’s energy future.
What’s a Salt Dome?
Unlike Great Atlantic, which is a homogenous, flat-lying and relatively shallow high-purity salt deposit, Fischell’s Brook is considered a salt dome-type deposit which is more vertical in its orientation.
Grades, generally, aren’t as high in salt domes, but they do contain large amounts of salt and they also hold a particularly special advantage – these structures are ideal for cost effective and environmentally friendly underground renewable energy storage, which is why U.S. strategic oil reserves for many years have been kept in “salt caverns”. These caverns are created in a salt dome by drilling into the structure and circulating water, which dissolves the salt. The leftover brine is then removed, leaving a storage cavity. The surrounding salt has properties that prevents gas and air from migrating out of the caverns, including very low porosity and permeability plus self-healing characteristics.
Clean Energy Transition Highlights Importance of Salt Domes
In early 2019 Atlas reported that pursuant to a “Request For Proposals On The Fischell’s Brook Salt Property Exempt Mineral Land” issued by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the company was the successful bidder and was awarded the mineral rights to Fischell’s Brook. The acquisition of this asset now takes on much greater significance with recent developments in the rapidly expanding global energy storage market, estimated to be growing at a minimum annual CAGR of 20%. As a result, Atlas added 300 claims or 75 sq. km to its landholdings along the coast (St. Fintan’s Salt) to cover more strategic ground with storage potential that will be included in the spinout.
Based on technical work filed with the provincial government by previous operators, six holes targeting the Fischell’s Brook salt dome have been drilled on the area covered by the Company’s licenses. Four holes penetrated gross salt thicknesses exceeding 400 meters including up to 764 meters in Hooker #1 to a depth of 1,099 meters. These four holes all terminated in salt and encompass an area exceeding 2.25 square kilometers, providing large potential storage cavern volume. Atlas is carrying out a detailed compilation of all previous work and data related to this salt dome.
Fischell’s Brook is located immediately off the Trans-Canada Highway approximately 15 km south of the Great Atlantic salt deposit. Newfoundland & Labrador’s new high voltage power line, connected to the regional grid, cuts through the Fischell’s Brook Property.