As part of the Cornwall devolution deal (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cornwall-devolution-deal) Cornwall Council agreed to “assess the potential support mechanisms for deep geothermal, should the resource be proven via locally driven investment”. As a result, Geothermal Engineering Limited ( https://www.uniteddownsgeothermal.co.uk/) has secured funding of £10.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund to explore the geothermal resources deep beneath Cornwall. With £2.4 million from Cornwall Council and £5 million from private investors, the funding will allow GEL to drill two deep geothermal wells from its site within the United Downs Industrial Estate and build a 1MW pilot power plant to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of supplying both electricity and heat.
The project has been waiting for their drilling rig. Site preparation work has now been completed, apart from some internal fitting-out of the office and electrical work on the gates.
Their drilling rig has now completed the geothermal well in Finland and is undergoing maintenance and inspection work before being transported to the UK. They expect it to begin arriving in Cornwall during the first week of October and to begin drilling in about the third week. They will therefore be drilling over the winter months now, with a scheduled completion in April 2019.
There is a lot of interest in this project, and its potential to supply low-Carbon energy, but there are some concerns as well. Over the summer, Lanner parish councillors have attended public meetings to receive assurances that parishioners would not experience excess noise or any earth tremours. The project has been invited to attend the Annual Parish Assembly to provide a display of their project and answer any questions. They have also been invited to the Community Fayre on the 6th October for the same reason, so why not pop along to find out what internationally important project is occurring on our doorstep?