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Friday 23 May 2014

Geothermal extraction takes a step closer


Plans for geothermal energy will take a step closer next month when the Council holds an open day to attract potential energy partners.

Geothermal is water that is naturally heated by the earth’s core and can be drawn up to the surface retaining a temperature of up to 100 degrees Celsius, potentially supplying hot water to nearby homes and businesses.

Geothermal has been discovered in vast quantities beneath the Cheshire basin, near Crewe, on public land and Cheshire East Council is eager to find the right partner to begin extraction.

The Council is holding an open day in Crewe for potential partners on Thursday, June 5 and interested parties are being asked to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire by mid-June, which can be found at

The British Geological Society has identified the Cheshire Basin near Crewe as only one of six deep geothermal resources in the UK.

There are around 100 gigawatt hours a year (gwh) within a 2.5km radius of the proposed site in Leighton West and around 50gwh a year from just two sites within 1km. 

Earlier this year, Cheshire East Council was awarded £200,000 for geothermal exploration, representing the biggest grant in the country.

Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said: “Along with our partner, we will be exploring the benefits of drilling down up to 5km and extracting water at temperatures around 100 degrees Celsius.

“If this is indeed successful, we could be looking at an opportunity to heat homes and businesses in the area with this new technology.

“This Council is committed to tackling energy poverty as well as reducing our carbon emissions. Low-carbon technologies, such as geothermal, are the way forward and will enable local energy solutions and self-sufficiency.”

The Council hopes to begin extraction with a suitable partner within the next 12 months, offering the successful partner a long-term lease and creating a revenue stream for the Council through rent and profits.

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