20 June 2023
by Alex Brinded

Geothermal energy turned on at Eden Project

Eden Geothermal in Cornwall is the UK's first operational deep geothermal project in 37 years.

The drilling of the well in 2021 © Toby Smith - Eden Geothermal Ltd

The Eden Project Biomes, plus a new plant nursery, will be heated using a 4km geothermal system.

The first operating deep geothermal heating plant since 1986 was turned on Monday 19 June.

Drilling into the granite was finished in 2021 and Eden Geothermal has completed the heat main and plant, and is now ready to supply heat to the Eden Project and the Growing point nursery.

It has a vertical depth of 4,871m, with the length of the well at 5,277m making it the longest geothermal well in the UK. It is a single coaxial system and has a 4000m vauum insulated tube that lifts hot water that is passed through a heat exchanger, with the cooled water re-injected into the well via the outer ring. The 3.8km heat main delivers the heat at 85°C.

Eden Geothermal Ltd is a three-way partnership between Eden Project Limited, EGS Energy Limited - a geothermal development and consultancy group, and BESTEC Ltd - affliated with BESTEC GMbH, the specialist geothermal developer and drilling advisor.

EGL secured £24mln funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council, and GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd.

Sir Tim Smit KBE, Co-Founder of the Eden Project, says, 'Geothermal is the sleeping giant of renewables: lying not under our noses, but literally under our feet. The Netherlands’ geothermal industry started with heating for greenhouses, and they are now aiming for it to contribute to a quarter of all their heating by 2050.'

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Alex Brinded

Staff Writer