Thrive Renewables is to invest up to £6.5 million in the UK’s first geothermal power plant at the United Downs Industrial Estate in Cornwall. The plant, being developed by Geothermal Engineering, will produce 3MW of electricity and up to 12MW of heat for local use.
So far, two wells have been successfully drilled, one of which is the deepest onshore well in the UK at 5.1km vertical depth. The wells are also the hottest in the UK with an expected temperature of over 190°C. The project is now in its final testing phase.
Thrive Renewables is investing funds to complete the final rounds of testing and to build the geothermal power plant. It may start operating in 2021.
Matthew Clayton, managing director at Thrive Renewables, said: “ This pioneering project taps a constant natural resource, providing baseload renewable electricity, a crucial component of the UK’s clean energy generation mix. The project’s potential to generate and distribute heat will also contribute to the enormous challenge of decarbonising the UK’s heat consumption.”
Dr Ryan Law, managing director of Geothermal Engineering, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Thrive Renewables for the United Downs project. We are also very excited to be leading a new industry that has the potential to be transformative for this region of the UK. Geothermal, and other connected industries have huge potential in creating not only renewable power and heat energy but also inward investment and jobs for Cornwall. We hope that this will be the start of many similar initiatives across the region”.