United Downs Deep Geothermal Power

The first geothermal power plant in the UK will generate renewable electricity and heat from water heated within the earth’s crust.

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Geothermal Engineering Ltd's story

The United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project is the first geothermal power plant in the UK. It is funded by a mixture of public and private funds, including the European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council and Thrive Renewables plc.

The aim of the project is to produce power and heat from the hot granite rocks beneath Cornwall at the United Downs Industrial Site near Redruth.

Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL) was founded in 2008 with the aim of developing geothermal heat and power projects and acts as both Developer and Operator.

Using 21st century techniques to tap into the ancient resource of Geothermal, GEL has always had a vision to use the geothermal resources beneath our feet, no matter where in the world, for zero carbon electricity, heating and cooling. GEL is a company built by a group of like-minded people who believe in sustainability and that geothermal should fill the gap for 24/7 renewable energy production, regardless of the weather. The GEL team mesh together many years of experience with young fresh ideas, which enables innovative, productive and successful projects. The ethos of GEL is to utilise local products and services as much as possible and involve the local community in projects. GEL are sympathetic to the natural environment and will endeavour to factor, into every geothermal site, an area for biodiversity for the sustainability of the local ecosystem. Drilling activity is planned to minimise the disruption to local communities and to be transparent in all operations.

Useful learnings from Geothermal Engineering Ltd

Community engagement from the outset of the project has been fundamental in getting community and council support. Transparency has entailed giving people the opportunity to visit the geothermal project site, speak to members of the team and watch site activity as well as being able to take away information about the geothermal power project.

Working with education establishments has given the team an opportunity to encourage and inspire the next generation to aspire to a career in renewable energy. Lastly having a cohesive team who work well together and complement each other’s skills has meant projects run smoothly.

Geothermal Engineering Ltds' metrics

Amount of waste heat utilised.
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Geothermal drilling equipment. Credit: Geothermal Engineering Ltd.
Geothermal first steam production. Credit: Geothermal Engineering Ltd.
United Downs geothermal site. Credit: Geothermal Engineering Ltd.