Drilling for the first deep geothermal power plant, the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project (UDDGP), has began near St Day, Cornwall.
The plant, run by Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL) as a demonstration of what geothermal power can offer the UK, will supply power for 3,000 homes when fully operational.
Two deep wells will be drilled, one reaching 4.5km into the granitic rock of the earth’s crust. Water is then pumped up and into a heat exchanger, and then returned to the well to be re-heated in a continuous cycle.
The well is the deepest geothermal well ever drilled on UK soil.
This is one of the few sustainable energy generation methods that can operate continually, unlike wind and solar, which depend on day and weather cycles.