Third Cornish geothermal site gets go-ahead

Geothermal Engineering Limited has been granted planning permission by Cornwall Council for a geothermal power plant at Manhay. The Manhay project is expected to produce 5MW of electrical energy and 20 MW of thermal energy continuously. It will be GEL’s third site in Cornwall, in addition to the United Downs plant near Redruth and the Penhallow plant. Work is set to begin on the project in late 2023 subject to all agreements and funding being in place and it will take approximately 36 months to complete, from site preparation to producing electricity.
As with the United Downs project, Manhay will have two deep wells. The 4,500m-deep production well will bring hot geothermal fluid to the surface and the 3,000m-deep reinjection well will return cooled fluid underground after it has been used to generate electricity.
GEL said it is planning to increase net biodiversity at the site by 70% by encouraging more wildlife to the area, planting species-rich hedgerow around the site and working with local people to support nearby environmental schemes.
The Manhay area will also benefit from a minimum of £40,000 community fund to help fund local projects with sustainability and community cohesion at their core. During the construction phase, more than £1.5 million will be spent at local businesses, including accommodation close to the site for visiting crew
To date £30 million has been invested in the United Downs project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council and Thrive Renewables plc.