How does the UK produce energy from new underground sources?

The UK's first deep geothermal power plant has produced thermal steam more than two years after drilling began at the site, which could be part of the solution to Britain's search for alternative energy sources, according to the company running the project near Redruth. In Cornwall, the UK's first thermal steam was produced from three miles underground.

Geothermal engineering plans to produce electricity and heat from hot rocks by next year, and also wants to build four more power plants in the county with a goal of powering 45,000 homes by 2026.

Two wells, one about three miles deep, were drilled in the rocks of the Porthtouan Fault Zone, starting in November 2018, after which water is pumped from the deep well at a temperature of about 190°C (374°F).


This water is fed through heat exchange at the surface and re-injected into the ground to capture more heat from the rock in a continuous cycle.


Ryan Low, Director of Geothermal Engineering, praised the moment the company had finally become a force on site, saying: “We've talked about this over the years but we are finally producing the first geothermal steam in the UK, we have steam on site and the water comes from Three miles underground.


Geothermal technology is described as a continuous energy source because it does not suffer from the ups and downs of other sustainable energy sources. The developers hope the technology used at the facility can be used at other locations in Cornwall and Devon. Similar plants have been developed in Insheim and Landau in Germany.

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