EGS Energy Limited awarded £2.011m from the Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund

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The Department of Energy and Climate Change announces the award to EGS Energy Limited of £2.011m from the Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund

EGS Energy is delighted to have been awarded £2,011,000 in grant funding by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The grant will help fund the capital cost of the drilling of exploratory boreholes for what will be the first commercial engineered deep geothermal power plant in the UK, at The Eden Project in Cornwall.

The government announced in July 2009 that the £6m in grant funding from the Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund was to be made available in two tranches – £4m in the financial year 2009-2010 and £2m in the following financial year. DECC sees geothermal power as an innovative energy technology that is experiencing a surge in interest worldwide. Deep geothermal systems use the natural heat in rocks deep underground to drive turbines at the surface generating a renewable and non-intermittent source of electricity and providing heat.

EGS Energy announced in June 2009 its partnership with The Eden Project (“Eden”) to establish an engineered geothermal system power plant from which Eden can take the electricity and heat to power the Eden site at Bodelva, near St Austell, Cornwall. The Eden EGS Plant is designed to have a 3-4MWe capacity, supplying the surplus heat to Eden and elsewhere locally.

The power plant at Eden will consist of a two borehole system – one injection well and one production well, both around 3-4km deep. Water will be circulated between the bottoms of the two wells, where it is heated by the hot rocks and is returned to the surface at approximately 150ºC. At the surface the heat is extracted to drive a binary turbine to create electricity and provide hot water to heat Eden’s biomes and for other purposes such as community heating, before it is returned into the reservoir.

After an overwhelmingly positive response at the public meeting at Eden in November 2009, EGS Energy is working closely with Eden to obtain consent for a site and to establish the Eden EGS Plant, as what would be the first installation of its type in the UK.

Roy Baria, Technical Director of EGS Energy Limited, commented “Having worked on the State funded project in Cornwall at Rosemanowes over twenty years ago, I welcome the support that the Government is giving now to this exploration. The skills first developed in Cornwall those many years ago, will now be put to good use in developing the geothermal potential of the Cornish granite.”

Guy Macpherson-Grant, Managing Director of EGS Energy Limited, added “This is a very positive step forward for EGS Energy. We are pleased to have received such a substantial and practical vote of confidence from DECC with this award. We will be working hard in the coming months to repay that confidence in us, by taking forward with all speed the drilling programme and associated works, planning and environmental consents permitting.”

Peter Stewart, Eden Project Campaigns Director, said “The grant by DECC to EGS Energy Limited is very welcome news indeed for the prospect of a geothermal power plant at The Eden Project. We are working closely with EGS Energy to develop the project and will be looking to submit a planning application in the New Year.”

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