The project comprises the development of a pilot (demonstrator) deep geothermal power plant at the United Downs, the purpose being to prove commercial viability of the technology and therefore act as a catalyst for further investment in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and beyond.
Two commercial-scale deep geothermal wells will be drilled and tested. One well, drilled to 2.5km, will be for injection and the other well, drilled to 4.5km, will be for production. Fluid from the production well will be used to drive the turbine of a pilot 1MWe power plant that will be built at the site as part of the project thereby demonstrating that the geothermal resource in Cornwall can be exploited to generate renewable electricity and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Deep geothermal is an area where Cornwall potentially holds a competitive advantage. The project therefore offers significant potential for economic growth in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, building on its reputation as a ‘green and marine’ region.
The project includes investment from Cornwall Council (£2.4m) and the private sector (£5m).