Eden Project steps up geothermal profile

Geothermal work at Cornwall's Eden Project will enhance its sustainability credentials

Hunting Energy Services has provided engineering, manufacturing and logistics expertise to the Eden project, marking its first endeavour in the UK geothermal market – and signalling a new phase for Cornwall’s renowned sustainability-come-tourism attraction.

Hunting successfully project managed and transported 20,000ft of casing to the Eden Geothermal site and 20 personnel, including logistics staff, OCTG engineers, manufacturing and operations were involved in the campaign, providing onsite tubular running support.

Ian Park, UK Managing Director for Hunting, said: “There are great synergies for our tubular product line across many of the renewable energy industries including geothermal, making us the ideal choice for this ground-breaking project. We have been able to apply our expert methodology, technical support, logistics and project management skills to deliver our products safely, which has opened the door for us to support further geothermal projects in the future.” 

Max Skerratt, Project Manager for Eden, said Hunting Energy Services supplied all of its casing needs for a 5,277m geothermal well in granite and while the casing was ordered in the middle of the first COVID lockdown, Hunting still managed to deliver all the casing with no delays to the programme. 

Eden aims to drill and test the first 4,500-metre-deep well of a geothermal energy system, followed by one year of heat production to demonstrate GHG savings. It will build on knowledge of the deep geothermal resource in Cornwall by providing greater understanding of the geology at depth, enabling resources in the region to become characterised as reserves. If successful, a binary plant will be constructed which will provide base load power to the grid.

It provides the pivotal first step for creating a new renewable and industry sector for the UK, as the greater understanding of the conditions deep in the granite will enable the subsequent development of another 4,500-metre well and a combined heat and power plant. Granites underlying Cornwall and west Devon have abnormally high geothermal gradients that make electricity generation possible.

The term ‘geothermal energy’ refers to any heat derived from the ground, from depths of a few metres to multiple kilometres beneath the earth’s surface. There is no strict definition for ‘deep geothermal energy’, but the UK Government has adopted the term to refer to heat resources derived from depths of greater than 500m. Read more on its deep geothermal energy regulation guidance here

The Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s premier attractions. Sir Tim Smit’s mission was to transform a former china clay site of “utter dereliction and create life in it”, with Rainforest and Mediterranean biomes and 30-acre outdoor gardens. The sustainability-minded project features vegetarian and vegan food options, food waste composted to feed plants, taps where you can fill your own water bottles and electric car charging.

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