Developer shares details on geothermal project in Puy-de-Dome, France

Developer shares details on geothermal project in Puy-de-Dome, France Puy-de-Dome, Auvergne, France (source: Flickr/ Mikel Ortega, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 15 Feb 2021

In recent information meetings, TLS Geothermics and Storengy shared details about its planned geothermal project in the Puy-de-Dome region in France. The project could be start drilling as early as November this year.

Last weekend, two public meetings were held in Saint-Pierre-Roche, a town of just over 400 inhabitants in the Puy-de-Dome region in France, for a planned deep geothermal project. The project plans to initially drill two wells to a depth of around 4,000 meters in the village of Prades, with the possibility to extend by another double.

The project is co-developed by TLS Geothermics, a Toulouse company created in 2012, and Storengy, a subsidiary of Engie. The two entities are looking for a third shareholder, able to bear the financial risk of EUR 12 million. In the Massif Central, their second project concerns the Montluçon sector, in the Allier region.

TLS Geothermics has been probing the region’s subsoil for several years. A perimeter of 50 sq. km around Gelles, Saint-Pierre-le-Chastel, Olby, Mazayes and Saint-Pierre-Roche had also been defined in 2018. With the idea, at the time, of carrying out the drilling in 2020, for operation from 2022.

To address some of the concerns of local municipalities related to noise pollution, the risks linked to seismicity, the impact on biodiversity, the consequences on the price of real estate and the tourist attraction of the village, the information meetings were aimed to provide details and answer some of the concerns.

With seismic events reported in connection with a geothermal project in the Alsace region of France, concerns were raised also for this project.  “A network of seismic sensors approximately 5 km around the site will be put in place before drilling and will allow the impact to be measured,” explained Mathieu Bellanger, geological engineer at TLS Geothermics. Another concern is the question if the project would also aim to extract lithium from geothermal brines.  Mathieu Auxiètre, president of TLS Géothermics, replied to these questions: “We suppose there is [some potential of lithium in the brine], but we cannot say without doing the drilling. For the moment, there is no technique to extract lithium. liquid. It is at the laboratory stage. What is certain is that there will not be an open-pit mine like in some countries. ”

The municipal council  gave a favourable opinion (9 votes for, 2 against), at the beginning of the month, under certain conditions, in particular the noise. Mayor Joël Flandin did not expect a mobilization of “such magnitude”:

We have deliberated for the good of the planet, with the idea of ??finding alternatives to nuclear energy. The fact that a company like Engie is behind is reassuring.

On the subject of communication, the councillor denies any lack: “This is a private project, not a municipal project.” The elected representatives of the Dômes Sancy Artense community of municipalities should also soon vote on the subject.

The public inquiry begins on February 22 and will end on March 25. The investigating commissioner will be present in the town hall of Saint-Pierre-Roche on certain days. Practical information can be found by clicking here (in French).

The first drilling could then begin next November, in the village of Prades. If they prove successful, the company will move on to the second phase: operation. “This will be the subject of a different procedure, with new impact studies”, assured Mathieu Auxiètre, in front of an audience definitely not convinced.

Source: La Montagne