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Cornwall's Eden Project set to get first geothermal well

Cornwall's Eden Project set to get first geothermal well

Published by Emma Cartonat 9:33am 14th October 2019. (Updated at 11:07am 14th October 2019)

The Eden Project looks set to get its first geothermal well after securing almost £17m in funding.

Pirate FM understands the hot rocks scheme will power the attraction and dozens of homes.

The money is coming from the European Regional Development Fund, the council and private investors.

It comes after a 10-year campaign and the partners say it will enable them to start drilling next summer.

Eden Geothermal Project
The Eden Project has secured almost £17m to start drilling its first geothernal well. Photo: Eden Project

What is the timeline?

The £16.8 million will pay for the first phase of the project - drilling one well, a research programme and a heat main, to prove the extent of the resource 4.5km down in the granite that lies beneath the Eden site.

This first well will initially supply a district heating system for Eden's Biomes, offices and greenhouses. 

It will pave the way for the second phase - another 4.5km well and an electricity plant.

Completing the second phase will mean that Eden will be generating sufficient renewable energy to become carbon positive by 2023 as well as aiming to be able to provide heat and power for the local area.

Eden co-founder Sir Tim Smit said securing funds and thereby the chance to spark an energy revolution amounts to the biggest leap forward for Eden since it opened.

"Since we began, Eden has had a dream that the world should be powered by renewable energy. 

"The sun can provide massive solar power and the wind has been harnessed by humankind for thousands of years but because both are intermittent and battery technology cannot yet store all we need there is a gap.

"We believe the answer lies beneath our feet in the heat underground that can be accessed by drilling technology that pumps water towards the centre of the earth and brings it back up superheated to provide us with heat and electricity. 

"The missing piece of the jigsaw in a 24/7 clean renewable energy future is this baseload. 

"Now we have the green light and the funding to start drilling we are determined to make this technology work. 

"And we want to work with others all over the world - sharing knowledge and encouraging the change as fast as is humanly possible".

Sir Tim added: "Geothermal will be a game changer for Eden, Cornwall and the UK. The heat will be used for the Biomes, to grow food, as well as helping support the development of our long-awaited hotel.

"Once up and running, our plant will provide more than enough renewable electricity and heat for the whole site, as well as for the local area. 

"We will be drilling for good energy rather than bad".

Sir Tim Smit

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