Geothermal

Ireland’s First Geothermal Electricity Plant Seeks Approval

Constructing the plant in South County Dublin is anticipated to cost €30 million ($40 million) by the firm, which conducted drill testing in 2007 and 2008 near the planned site at Greenogue Business Park in Newcastle.

“This initial plant is essentially a research and development project and will therefore require higher capital investment than future facilities. As the industry develops in Ireland and further geothermal plants are rolled out across the country, we’d envisage the cost of each plant to be substantially reduced,” said GT Energy managing director Padraig Hanly.

South County’s geological conditions suggest it could support three heat and electricity harnessing facilities, together providing up to 100 MW of base load thermal energy, he added.

Ireland’s government is drafting a geothermal energy development bill for licensing companies to explore and develop deep geothermal energy resources, said the minister for natural resources Conor Lenihan.

“I believe geothermal energy holds significant potential in Ireland and could develop into a new and exciting sector within the sustainable energy area,” he said.

In countries such as Germany – with a geothermal industry valued at €4 billion and more than 150 projects under development – the technology is already in rapid growth, he said. 

GT Energy also has two projects in the pipeline in Ballymena and Antrim in Northern Ireland.