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Municipality of Zwolle, Netherlands targets joining geothermal research project

Zwolle - Pelserbrugje, Netherlands (source: flickr/ Sjaak Kempe, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 2 Feb 2020

The municipality of Zwolle in the Netherlands is looking to join a research project by TNO, Engie, Huisman and potentially EBN that would see drilling of two wells for a potential geothermal project in the region.

Local news report that the municipality of Zwolle in the Netherlands is happy to participate in a European research project that focuses on research and development of geothermal energy.

The council has prepared a declaration of intent to join, and submitted it to TNO, the initiator of the project. Part of the research is drilling a test well, and if successful, also a second well.

The Enhancing REServoirs research project in Urban deveLopmenT (RESULT), is part of the European subsidy program Geothermal. Within RESULT, Engie (as operator), Huisman (the drilling company) and TNO (initiator and driving force) work together in a consortium. According to TNO, the Zwolle location is very much in line with the objective of RESULT: to make thin earth layers with opportunities for geothermal energy suitable for geothermal heat extraction and use.

Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) has indicated that it also wants to join the consortium. The subsidy for the research project amounts to a maximum of EUR 5.5 million. The remaining part is invested in the consortium. The total investments can amount to between EUR 10 and 15 million.

The municipality of Zwolle sees opportunities to take the development of geothermal energy in Zwolle to the next phase by participating in the research project. Drilling of a test well gives a definite answer about the available amount of heat from the targeted geothermal resource (and its capacity). Uncertainty remains about this after various geological surveys have been done to determine the size of the resource.

TNO has indicated that the Zwolle location is very suitable for participation in the RESULT research project. This project consists of further geological research and drilling of two wells. If sufficient heat can be extracted from the first well, also called a test well, they turn this well into the production well. A second well is then drilled through which the cooled water is pumped back into the ground.

Sounding board group: information center and urban agriculture

If Zwolle is selected to participate in RESULT and drilling is successful, an above-ground installation is required at the location of the two wells. The geothermal sounding board has considered the location of this installation in the Dijklanden area. The sounding board group consists of residents and local residents of the area. The sounding board group is unanimous in its preference, namely the farm on the corner of Urksteeg / Peterkampweg where nowadays the Zwolle city landscapes are located. The sounding board group sees opportunities to fit the above-ground installation into the agricultural landscape. She also sees opportunities for a combination with urban agriculture and an information center for visitors to the geothermal source. The Board agrees with the preferred location of the sounding board group and inserts it as a possible drilling location for RESULT.

Continuation

The municipality submits the letter of intent to TNO before 31 January. Although the consortium is currently assessing the Zwolle location as the location that best matches the conditions and purpose of the research program, the location choice is not yet final. There are also other locations in the picture. The municipality of Zwolle and the consortium will use the coming months to further elaborate the conditions for the collaboration and to record this in a cooperation agreement. The other locations remain in the picture for the research project, in case Zwolle does not come to a collaboration or a final decision to drill a test well.

If participation in RESULT is final, the first test drilling can probably be done in 2022.

Source: RTV Zwolle