Monday, June 14, 2010 - 11:45

People in the St. Austell area will have the opportunity to find out more about the Eden Project’s proposed geothermal energy project at an event at Trethurgy Village Hall on July 1 and 2.

The event will be held between 2pm and 8pm on July 1 and between 9am and 2pm on July 2. Everyone is welcome.

Eden and EGS Energy announced their partnership in June 2009 to establish what could be the UK’s first engineered geothermal system power plant.

The electricity and heat from the plant would be more than enough to power the Eden site at Bodelva near St Austell. It is designed to have a 3-4MWe capacity, supplying surplus heat and energy to the local community.

The information days will be hosted by Eden and EGS Energy and come prior to the submission of a planning application for the plant in late July. The days are part of Eden and EGS Energy’s ongoing commitment to keeping local residents informed on developments in the project.

Visitors will have the opportunity to find out more about the proposals and put their questions to experts from Eden and EGS Energy.

If the planning application is approved, site preparation work is due to start in December 2010 with the drilling of the two deep boreholes starting in April 2011. This is due to take approximately nine to ten months to complete, with the intention of commencing power generation by early 2013.

Matt Hastings, Eden’s Energy Manager, said: "This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in our pioneering geothermal plans to come along, talk to the experts who are running the project and ask any questions they might have.

“Our geothermal project will add tremendous support to Cornwall’s drive to be at the forefront of UK renewable energy and it’s vital that the local community is involved throughout the process."

These events come after a positive response at a public meeting at Eden in November 2009.

The power plant at Eden would consist of a two borehole system – one injection well and one production well, both around four kilometres deep.

Water would circulate between the bottoms of the two wells, where it would be heated by the hot rocks and returned to the surface at approximately 180ºC.

At the surface the heat would be 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.

EGS Energy has been awarded £2,011,000 in grant funding by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The grant will help towards funding some of the initial capital cost of the geothermal scheme at Eden.