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Geothermal engineering in Cornwall

2010-11-02

Geothermal engineering in Cornwall

Plans have been unveiled for the UK's first commercial plant to harness energy from the rocks beneath the ground of Cornwall.
Geothermal Engineering Ltd has revealed the proposal to develop a power plant near Redruth in West Cornwall.

Although it’s ground-breaking technology, Ryan Law, managing director of the firm, said it was not rocket science.  "Geothermal energy has been in use for millennia, even in the UK where the Romans used it for bathing," he said

The system uses the Earth's natural heat as a sustainable power source.  Wells will be drilled to a depth of around 5km, where temperatures are expected to exceed 170 degrees centigrade.

Water will be pumped down into the rock where it is naturally heated, before being pumped back to the surface as hot water or steam. The heated water will be used to power turbines to generate electricity and as a source of renewable heat.  Mr Law said Cornwall has been chosen to pioneer the UK's first geothermal plant as previous research proved that the county has a suitable heat resource.

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