"Hot rocks" exhibition gets the thumbs up
An exhibition for people interested in the Eden Project and EGS Energy's plans to build the UK's first geothermal power plant has been hailed as a success.
The event, which took place in Trethurgy Village Hall on Thursday and Friday (July 1 and 2), gave people the opportunity to air their views on the project and to talk to experts from Eden and EGS Energy.
A sticker board asking the question "Do you think geothermal energy is good for Cornwall?" had a cluster of stickers indicating "Yes". A few people were undecided but no-one disagreed.
Matt Hastings, Eden’s Energy Manager, said: "It was a very encouraging couple of days for the geothermal project. The people who called in were mostly from the immediate area and wanted to engage on a range of questions around noise, transport, seismology and the drilling rig. These were all very valid questions and we were pleased to have the chance to address them.”
Guy Macpherson-Grant, director of EGS Energy, said: “The overwhelming impression we have got at this stage is that people are generally in favour of our ambition to establish the UK’s first engineered geothermal system power plant at the Eden Project. We look forward now to taking the plans through to the next stage."
In June 2009, Eden and EGS Energy announced their partnership to establish the plant on land at the Eden site at Bodelva near St. Austell.
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 4MWe capacity, supplying surplus heat to the local community where possible.
The information days were part of Eden and EGS Energy’s ongoing commitment to keeping local residents up-to-date on developments in the project.
The planning application is due to be submitted later this month. If it is approved, site preparation work is due to start this December 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.
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 185ºC.
At the surface the heat would be extracted to drive a binary turbine to create electricity and to 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 project at Eden.