Tests ongoing on third well for Austrian geothermal heating project

Geothermal Heating Plant, Ried, Austria (source: Energie Ried)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 21 Feb 2019

A third well has been drilled for a geothermal heating plant in Ried, Austria, with ongoing tests - it is planned to connect it soon to the existing district heating system to meet growing heat demand.

The third well for Austria’s largest geothermal heating project is expected to go online soon, with pumping trials starting these days. The project supplies large partof the cities of Ried and Mehrbach with environmentally friendly heating, as reported by

A third well had become necessary due to high demand. The drilling rig has already been dismantled, and in a few days the piping on the surface will be completed, according to Helmut Binder, Managing Director of Energie Ried.

The energy of the very hot water from a depth of more than 2,000 meters is “fed” through heat exchangers above the well in Mehrnbach into the net. The water from the geothermal well will then be re-injected again into an already existing well back into the reservoir.

The project operators are certainly optimistic. As a result of the first test results, “There should be a lot of water there – apparently at 100 degrees Celsius.” That would be very pleasing, and soon we will have certainty “, said Binder. Assuming success, 90 to 100 liters of hot water per second should be delivered to the surface at the third geothermal well at the end. In the forthcoming pumping trial, the authority is forecasting constant and subsequently increasing quantities in order to see how the level develops at depth – especially since no other companies, such as the thermal baths in Bad Füssing, may be affected. The demand is certainly very large, says Binder. And there are other major customers in the pipeline – from army barracks over to a hospital and the judicial guard building to the Maximarkt, which is currently being rebuilt, as well as apartment buildings.

Will there be a fourth well?  It is reported that due to the continuing demand there are even thoughts about another, fourth well. However, the managing director of the energy does not want to comment.