News

Eden Project’s geothermal project in Cornwall/ UK secures EUR 19m in funding

Eden Project, Cornwall/ UK (source: flickr/ Matt Brown, creative commons)
Cees Willems 14 Oct 2019

The geothermal project at the Eden Project in Cornwall/ UK has secured funding for drilling and development with a planned initial heating set up and later power generation.

Reported this morning from Cornwall, the geothermal project at the Eden Project has secured funding of GBP 16.8 million (EUR 18.9m or USD 20.7m) for its planned geothermal power project.

The project has been a long long time in the making, we first reported on it back in 2010 or so. The project is planned as an engineered/ enhanced geothermal systems project. Like the United Downs project, the Eden well targets a naturally fractured granite fault zone. The first well will produce heat using a ‘co-axial’ circulation system, like in the Jubilee Pool project.  The use of this heat will demonstrate the potential of this Deep Single Well concept. Secondly well tests and downhole geological data will also indicate the long-term potential of extending the project with a second well to generate enough heat to support electricity generation. Commencement of drilling of the first well is planned for summer 2020.

Proposed project location and initial lay out of the prosed first well of the Eden Project. (source: Eden Geothermal)

The Eden Project has been considering geothermal energy as a way to heat their botanical garden and provide additional energy for the region since 2009. Eden co-founder Sir Tim Smit said: “Since we began, Eden has had a dream that the world should be powered by renewable energy….The answer “lies beneath our feet” in the heat underground”.

The Eden Project has a unique story. Set up as an educational charity it is a key visitor destination in Cornwall, UK. Set up in a former mine crater it hosts massive bio-domes housing the largest largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to its striking contemporary gardens.

The geothermal project is a partnership of the Eden Project with EGS Energy and Bestec UK, under a specific joint venture called Eden Geothermal Ltd.

The funding announced now comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with GBP 9.9m, GBP 1.4m from Cornwall Council and institutional investors contributing the remaining GBP 5.5m.

With the funding, the project will kick off the first phase of the project to drill one well that is to initially supply heat to a district heating system for the biomes, office s and greenhouses at Eden.

Drilling is planned to start in the summer of 2020. If the drilling for the first well is successful, the second phase sees the drilling of another 4,500 m well to be drilled and the development of a geothermal power plant to provide electricity. The electricity would supply the project itself and likely the local area.

Source: The Guardian, BBC 

Additional details on the financial transaction can be found in the release by the financial advisors of the deal