The first stage of exciting plans to heat a section of Jubilee Pool in Penzance using geothermal energy has begun.
Drilling of a 1.4km deep geothermal well has started which will enable visitors to enjoy bathing in waters of around 35°C in a section of the pool. It will become the first facility of its kind in the country to be heated using geothermal energy.
The new heated section, which will open to the public in the summer of 2019, will lead the way in showing how geothermal technology can be utilised across the UK. The project is being undertaken by Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL) after securing funding from the European Regional Development Fund. GEL has secured a licence from Geon Energy, a joint venture company set up by Arup and GEL for some of the technology used in the project.
Geon Energy has developed the technology which they say enables the delivery of an efficient, renewable and sustainable heating supply. The innovative process involves drilling a geothermal well to a depth of 1.4km and drawing up water that has been heated by the surrounding ground using a small pump. The heat is then transferred to water in adjacent pipes which flow into the pool.
“The use of geothermal energy significantly reduces emissions of greenhouse gases associated with the supply of heat and we hope that the learning and expertise gained from this ground-breaking project will be exported elsewhere, giving Cornwall the chance to be a leader in geothermal technology and installation.” said Ryan Law, MD of GEL.
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Dr. Matthew Free, Director, Arup said “We have been looking at many possibilities for generating geothermal heat and are pleased that the first operational project will be in Cornwall where we carried out a highly successful trial project two years ago. Not only will the well deliver heat cost effectively and with practically zero carbon emissions, it should prove an attractive idea for the local community and for visitors – why go to Iceland, Japan or New Zealand to experience water warmed from deep underground? The resulting economic benefits to Penzance should be significant.”
Martin Nixon, from Friends of Jubilee Pool said “Since my brother Charles first suggested this fantastic idea over seven years ago, it’s been very exciting to see it gain traction and now, at last, become closer to reality. I believe this will be brilliant in raising the profile of the town”.
Cornelius Olivier, Cornwall Councillor for Penzanze Central said, ‘It’s great to see investment in Green Technology anywhere in Cornwall but especially when it is for a facility that is so valued by the people of Penzance.”