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German city starts pilot project exploring to use mine water for geothermal heating

Old mine shaft in Alsdorf, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany (source: flickr/ Günter Hentschel, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 22 Jan 2018

A pilot project in Alsdorf near Aachen in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Germany is to evaluate the feasibility of utilising geothermally heated water from old coal mining operations.

A pilot project to explore using mine water for geothermal heating has started work in Alsdorf, a small city near Aachen in North Rhine Westphalia.

Currently a 153 meter strong concrete plug of the old mine shaft will have to be drilled, which is expected to take around 3 weeks. Pipes will be set into the well drilled to tap geothermal heat caught in the mine water in the old shafts of the mine.

The hot water derived is then planned to be used for heating for nearby buildings. The project is budgeted at around EUR 1.2 million to be financed primarily from the state of North Rhine Westphalia. The project aims to establish if it is economically feasible to utilise abandoned shafts and mining systems of the old hard coal mining period to win heat out of mine waters, including the Ruhr region.

Source: Aachener Zeitung