The UK’s first deep geothermal site, United Downs, has signed a purchase agreement for power and heat produced at the plant. This marks the first sale of geothermal energy in the UK.
Operator Geothermal Engineering Ltd has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with utility Ecotricity. The company will purchase the 3-5MW of power produced at the United Downs site in Cornwall, southwest England. At the same time, local rum distillery will purchase heat from the plant to warm its maturation facility.
The site uses a 5.3km-deep production well, with a 2.4km-deep injection well. These intersect the Porthtowan Fault Zone, approximately 800m west of the site.
Geothermal Engineering founder and managing director Dr Ryan Law said: “We have worked towards this point for many years. The testing we have completed recently on the wells, including the deepest well ever drilled onshore in the UK, shows the significant potential of geothermal energy to supply heat and power, not only at our site but right the way across Cornwall.”
The company has also announced its hopes to secure planning for future sites in the next two years. New sites would produce a minimum 5MW baseload, with up to 20MW of heat. The company would require $271m (200m) to develop these projects.
Law continued: “This comes on the back of the recent discovery of high lithium content in our geothermal water. We are very excited for the industry, investment, and jobs this renewable resource could bring to the region.”