Success of geothermal heating project in Geneva, Switzerland presented to public

Geneva geothermal features map (source: GEothermie 2020)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 13 Oct 2018

During an event on site of Satigny, the location of a geothermal heating project developed in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, the public was able to explore and experience the success of the first drilling campaign.

An open house of the GEothermie 2020 project in Satigny, Geneva in Switzerland presents the successful results of the first exploration drilling camapign.

The Department of Territory (DT) and Services industriels de Genève (SIG) are holding an ope house today to present the results of the exploratory drilling in Satigny, carried out under the GEothermie 2020 program. This geothermal development program in Geneva is gaining momentum with the drilling of three new exploration wells and two large-scale cross-border exploration campaigns.

Satigny’s drilling went down to a depth of 744 meters. It has confirmed the predictions made on the surface, that there is sufficient amounts of hot water under the city. The water naturally rises to the surface at a temperature of 33 degrees, at a rate of 50 liters per second.

This corresponds to a thermal energy of 20 to 30 GWh per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of heating and hot water from 2,000 to 3,000 households. “The results of this first exploratory drilling campaign are excellent. They allow us to be confident in achieving the objectives we have set: to heat 20% of the township with geothermal energy by 2035 ” so the President of the State Council, Mr. Antonio Hodgers, of DT.

In order to fulfill the information commitments to the population on the progress of the work, the results of the Satigny drilling were presented to the general public 13 October 2018, as part of an open house on site. Educational and fun activities were offered to discover the methods of prospecting and drilling. The hot water can also be tested. Specialists were present to answer questions about this renewable energy.

A video on the project’s website presents the possibilities for deep geothermal energy in Geneva and the map of the geophysical campaign planned for 2018.

Thanks to the good results of the drilling campaign for Satigny, the GEothermie 2020 program is entering a decisive phase with a detailed and cross-border exploration campaign as well as new exploratory drilling.

In consultation and close collaboration with the DT, the SIG planned to carry out three other medium-depth drillings. “These exploratory drilling will provide us with the experience and knowledge necessary to exploit geothermal energy in Geneva, a clean, local energy that is available 24 hours a day,” explains Christian Brunier, General Manager of SIG.

The next exploratory drilling will take place at Bernex in early 2019. “Geothermal energy is an energy that can enable our municipality to achieve its energy and environmental goals as formulated in our program” to get out of oil “, says Cyril Huguenin, Bernex’s administrative advisor.

Cross-border campaign

At the same time, in order to select as many locations as possible for the development of geothermal projects, SIG will carry out two new large-scale prospecting campaigns. The first will begin October 22, 2018 in the region of Avusy and probe the basement of the canton of Geneva and neighboring France on 125 km.

This is the first time that such a campaign has a cross-border dimension. Measurements will be made over 36 km in France through cooperation with the French authorities. “This is a coordinated management of cross-border data acquisition with the aim of developing geothermal energy,” says Pierre-Jean Crastes, President of the Genevois Community of Communes. We must not forget that the Geneva basin is Franco-Swiss and therefore its resources cross borders.

The second prospecting campaign will take place in 2019-2020. The route will be decided according to the results of the first tests.

This prospecting work associated with exploratory drilling will provide a detailed cartography of the Geneva subsoil and will make it possible to locate sites favorable to the exploitation of geothermal energy within two years on the whole territory. These operations are decisive for increasing the chances of success of future drilling and guaranteeing a sustainable and controlled use of geothermal energy.

The GEothermie 2020 program is led by the State of Geneva. It is implemented and funded by SIG. It fits into the Energy Strategy 2050, voted by the people, which aims to support the development of renewable energies.

Source: Canton of Geneva, Switzerland