The Environment Agency has awarded Cluff Geothermal a Water Abstraction Licence that grants the company permission to utilise deep geothermal waters for energy production purposes.
“This is an important step to realising the first deep geothermal energy plant in the UK for over 25 years and is great news for the company’s ambitions in the North East of England”, says Dr Michael Feliks, Head of UK Projects at Cluff Geothermal. “When complete, a deep borehole in North Tyneside could produce up to 5MWs of thermal energy – enough to heat up to 5000 homes – utilising heat from far below ground. This is a really exciting scheme that when built will be a flagship for energy innovation in the North East, proving there are serious and viable alternatives to increasingly expensive gas and electricity.”
Cluff Geothermal are now seeking planning permission to drill a 2000m deep geothermal borehole in North Tyneside in 2014. This is a simple drilling operation similar to the borehole drilled at the ‘Science Central’ site in Newcastle City Centre in 2011 by Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council. If successful, water at an assumed temperature of 80o Celsius will be pumped through a district heating system before being re-injected back into the ground. This sustainable geothermal heating system can operate more efficiently than fossil fuel alternatives, offering customers cheaper and less price-volatile heating. Geothermal heat is also expected to produce as little as 2.5% of the CO2 emissions of natural gas, making it the lowest carbon heating option available in the UK.
Cluff Geothermal plan to begin geothermal energy production in 2015.