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UK geothermal plant given green light

What could be the UK’s first commercial deep geothermal power plant has been given planning permission by Cornwall Council.

The geothermal power plant developed by Geothermal Engineering Ltd will provide both renewable heat and electricity. It is expected to be fully operation in 2013.

The plant is to be built on a brownfield site within an existing industrial estate. Work will begin in early 2011 to drill 4.5 km into the ground to access rocks at temperatures of approximately 200°C.

The geothermal power plant will provide up to 55 MW of heat for the local community, and 10 MW of electricity.

Ryan Law, Managing Director of Geothermal Engineering Ltd and Chair of the Renewable Energy Association’s Deep Geothermal Group, says: “With the development of our plant we want to make deep geothermal energy a significant contributor to the UK’s energy portfolio. Not only can we contribute renewable, continuous power to the grid, we also want to change the way the UK meets its heat demands by offering energy-efficient, decentralised heat.

"The Department of Energy and Climate Change has already estimated that deep geothermal technology could supply between 1 and 5 GW of baseload, renewable electricity by 2030.”

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