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Plans to build UK’s largest deep-geothermal heat plant announced
Plans for the UK’s largest deep-geothermal heat plant have been announced by GT Energy.
The project will utilise one of the UK’s largest geothermal resources, found in the Cheshire Basin near Manchester and intends to develop 500megawatts (MW) of capacity of the UK’s estimated 100,000MW potential, which would make GT Energy the UK’s primary provider of renewable heat energy.
The proposed development will be based on two wells, approximately 3,000 metres deep at a site in the Ardwick district of Manchester. If approved, the plant could create green jobs and skills and bring money to the region via the Local Government Finance bill, which allows business rates generated from the renewable energy project to be retained within the local authority for investment in the community.
A planning application will be made to Manchester City Council in September alongside a consultation between GT Energy, local residents and stakeholders about the final design proposals for the site. If successful, the heating network will potentially connect homes, businesses and institutions in the Oxford Road Corridor of Manchester and will be the largest commercial development of geothermal heating in the UK.
The plant comes after the introduction of the government’s 2012/2013 £70 million Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the first financial incentive scheme designed to encourage the development of renewable energy for heating. Currently, around half of the UK’s carbon emissions come from energy used to produce heat.
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, welcomed the plans, saying: “I was delighted to hear about the launch of this exciting scheme in Manchester, and GT Energy and E.ON’s plans for further projects to develop heat networks supplied with deep geothermal heat. This is exactly the sort of innovative green project we want to see sprouting up across the country. This builds on the Coalition’s ambitious heat strategy published in March, and I wish the project every success.”
Padraig Hanly, CEO of GT Energy, said: “We are delighted to be working on this ground breaking project. At present, energy for heating is almost entirely fossil-fuel based, but as geothermal energy is abundant we believe that we can utilise this resource in an economical and efficient way for the benefit of the citizens of Manchester. The RHI is a world leading initiative from the UK government and will boost the development of renewable energy, and GT Energy we will be at the forefront of this.”
The plans are one of several project recently announced by the company, including plans for a geothermal electricity generation plant in Dublin.
Further information can be found on the GT Energy website.
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