Cornwall Council has said that it committed to exploring the future potential of deep geothermal energy and has announced a £1.4M grant to Eden-EGS Energy for a scheme at Eden Project, near St Austell.
The Eden-EGS Energy scheme is now seeking match funding in order to progress its plan to drill a deep well at Bodelva to access “hot rock” geothermal energy to heat and power the Eden Project and surrounding homes.
This is the second geothermal scheme backed by the council following allocation of a £2.4M grant to Geothermal Engineering in 2016, which gained a further £10.6M in funding from the European Regional Development Fund in 2017 to drill two deep geothermal wells. The Geothermal Engineering scheme at United Downs Industrial Estate and build a 1MW pilot power plant to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of supplying electricity initially and potentially heat. Drilling at United Downs will begin later this year.
Cornwall Council leader Adam Paynter said: “Cornwall is the first in the UK to explore the potential to power our economy from deep geothermal energy, the hot rocks and springs lying deep under Cornwall.
“This council has secured money from national government which we are using to leverage a total of £35M funding from private businesses, Europe and research institutions for deep geothermal power.
“As a result companies in Cornwall are beginning drilling at United Downs and the latest decision will unlock a second site located within Eden.
“This has huge potential not just for Cornwall but for the national economy. Unlike other renewable sources where energy is dependent on the wind or the sun, deep geothermal offers a stable consistent and secure source of energy.
“All of this was made possible through our first devolution deal with government. We want to build on this through our latest proposal, New Frontiers. We are seeking co-investment from Government in our deep geothermal projects in order to assess the potential to extract valuable minerals such as lithium that will be in high demand across the globe to power the electric vehicles of the future.”