Digging into Eden Project’s geothermal energy plans

From the granite outcrops of Bodmin moor to the rugged coastal cliffs of Tintagel, Cornwall is a county steeped in imposing rock formations.

However, the Eden Project is taking Cornwall’s relationship with the earth one step further with a plan to drill 4.5km into a fault line within the granite which lies underneath the tourist attraction.

The aim of the project titled Hot Rocks is to eventually sink two wells, one to provide heat for the project itself and another to provide power.

The well is drilled over 4km deep where the rock temperature is up to 190oC bid. Water injected down the will be returned to the surface at closer to 175oC.

A key to the technique is that the rock also has fissures within it.

EGS hopes that the project will provide power for up to 25 years. The steel casing within the well will only last a certain number of years before it degrades. The other time limiting factor is the potential for the heat source to eventually cool down due to the effect of the cold water being pumped down on to the rocks.

Read more at New Civil Engineer (Tim Clark) [via Geothermal Resources Council]

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