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Dreaming of Abandoned Wells

Episode 1 of our Renewable Conversations podcast series. This episode features an interview with Keith Hirsche, founder of RenuWell. An idea to turn abandoned well sites into productive renewable energy sites.

Last November the infrastructure was completed on two pilot projects designed to show that abandoned well sites can be given a new purpose that provides renewable energy, opens the door to new business opportunities, and provides workforce training.

Abandoned well sites are scattered throughout oil rich Alberta -  in fact 37% of all oil and gas wells in the province are considered abandoned by the Alberta Energy Regulator.  Many of these wells cannot be reclaimed as productive agricultural land despite the best intentions of well owners or operators.

Those are the facts.

But it took a moment of inspiration for Keith Hirsche to pull together the idea and partners to make the RenuWell project a reality.

With funding through the Municipal Community Generation Challenge, and the Irrigation Canal Power Co-op,  and partners including the Municipal District of TaberRenuWell Energy Solutions Inc., and two prominent Canadian solar companies – Canadian Solar Inc. and SkyFire Energy Inc., the proof-of-concept infrastructure for the RenuWell dream was completed in November of 2022.

In our first episode of the Renewable Conversations with Iron & Earth podcast, freelance broadcaster Don Hill talks with Keith Hirsche about what led to the idea to put solar power generation on abandoned well sites and create the RenuWell project. 

If you want to talk about bringing a RenuWell to your community send a note to [email protected] 


Iron & Earth is committed to partnering with Indigenous workers to empower their communities to become self-sufficient in training programs, clean energy transition projects, and employment opportunities to combat environmental racism. It falls to all of us to continue the work of healing and reconciliation in our communities and our organizations. Our relationship with the land and the people who live here shapes who we are. It is in the spirit of reconciliation and honouring the past that we recognize treaties and agreements wherever they are and wherever we work.

We also acknowledge all peoples who live, work, and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.
As individuals and teams we may make mistakes along the way, but we are dedicated to growth, openness, compassion, and forgiveness. These principles in our work are essential to building successful and healthy relationships with individuals, communities, organizations, and governments.

We look forward to building a path to lead us to a better relationship with Indigenous nations and the environment around us based on peace, friendship, and respect.