First Geothermal Plant in UK Gets Green Light

The UK’s Cornwall Council has given the go-ahead for the country’s first utility-scale geothermal power plant near Redruth.

The plant is being developed by London-based Geothermal Engineering and will have capacities of 55 MW of renewable heat energy and 10 MW of electricity when it becomes fully operational in 2013, according to New Energy Focus. 

Approval of the planning application last week (August 13) means the company can drill three wells 4.5 km in depth at the United Downs industrial estate, which is an existing brown field site. Work is set to start in early 2011.

The company said that this would be the deepest onshore well in the UK and hailed the approved application as a “major milestone” in the development of geothermal renewable energy sources in the UK. Geothermal Engineering said the plant would provide heat for the local area and enough electricity, which would be fed into the national grid, to power 20,000 homes.

The company, which was awarded £1.475m from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in December last year, must raise finance to meet the £40m development cost, according to the Financial Times.

This article was reprinted with permission from Power Engineering International as part of the PennWell Corporation Renewable Energy World Network and may not be reproduced without express written permission from the publisher.

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