Cornwall becomes first place in UK to produce geothermal power

1st July 2021 | Commercial Energy

A green energy power plant in Cornwall says it is the first place in the UK to produce steam using geothermal technology. Geothermal Engineering Ltd says its concept plant at United Downs is now producing the UK’s first geothermal steam using 175C water extracted a record-breaking 5.1 kilometres underground – that is more than three miles deep.

The company has also announced it will be setting up four new deep geothermal power plants across other parts of Cornwall. Each new site is expected to created 5 Mega Watt of electrical power to the National Grid and 20 MW of heat energy for the local area.

The four sites combined are expected to create enough electricity to power 45,000 homes. Each plant will each take around 18 months to complete, and all are anticipated to be up and running by 2026. The first plant at United Downs industrial estate is now producing geothermal steam and is on track to deliver approximately 3 MWe to the National Grid during 2022.

Geothermal power

Ryan Law is the managing director of GEL, he says this is an incredibly exciting time for deep geothermal energy. “We have proved the technology works at United Downs, we have progressive funding in place, and we now have four additional sites which our experienced team is ready to start work on,” he said. “Over the next 20 years, our target is to produce in excess of 500 MW of power from geothermal resources making this one of the most significant and reliable baseload power sources in the UK.”

Cllr Stephen Rushworth, cabinet member for the economy, says Cornwall Council is pleased to be supporting this emerging industry.

“Unlike almost any other form of energy production, geothermal heat energy must be used close to its source. This means that new plants will benefit local communities by attracting new business, jobs and inward investment, as well as offering the potential for delivering local heat networks for residents.”

The council plans to supplement funding from the governments Heat Network Delivery to supply heat for a proposed new housing development of 3800 homes and commercial buildings at Langarth Garden Village.

More information available on the website below