The UK's First Ever Geothermal Power Plant Opens In Cornwall And Will Now Power 10,000 Homes And Businesses

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The UK's First Ever Geothermal Power Plant Opens In Cornwall And Will Now Power 10,000 Homes And Businesses

The United Kingdom's first ever geothermal power plant has been offered a deal to help power 10,000 homes in Cornwall, which lies in the South-West of England. The United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project was built over a number of years and is both private and publicly funded. It is however, only now that the plant is obtaining contracts to supply electricity.

Within 12 months, energy will be flowing from the plant at the behest of renewable energy company Ecotricity, who have signed a contract for 3 megawatts of power from the plant.

But it isn't just domestic electricity needs that the plant will be supplying. Many local businesses interested in the project have signed up to get their energy from the plant, including a local rum distillery which is in talks with the plant over a £10 million contract.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said of the plant coming online:

"Geothermal is a really exciting form of energy that is currently untapped in the UK. We're pleased to be part of this project and to add the power to our customer's energy mix. It has a big role to play in our plans to decarbonize the country."

Geothermal energy is a green energy source, meaning that there are minimal carbon emissions created as a result of producing the electricity. Geothermal energy works by making use of the huge amount of heat produced in the Earth's mantle, the part of the Earth that sits below the Earth's crust surface. That heat is then added to sea-water which produces steam, which then turns an electricity generator to produce electricity for domestic and industrial consumption. Geothermal energy is already used in 26 countries.

Cornwall, where the new power plant in located, is perfectly suited for geothermal power as it sits next to the sea and above the Porthtowan fault zone, meaning that just 3 miles down, there is access to the extreme heat of the Earth required to operate plant.

Geothermal also has an advantage over other sources of green energy, such as solar and wind power, in that the heat from the Earth is not dependent like solar or wind energy on the weather above ground.

Ryan Law, of Geothermal Engineering Limited, said of the United Downs plant:

"There's a huge amount of energy below the surface of the Earth. The limiting factors are the drilling costs and the connections to National Grid on the surface."

It is now hoped that similar geothermal plants can now be built both across the United Kingdom and further afield as a way of tackling the climate emergency. It is estimated that as much as 10% of the UK's power needs could one day be satisfied by geothermal power.

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Thinking Humanity: The UK's First Ever Geothermal Power Plant Opens In Cornwall And Will Now Power 10,000 Homes And Businesses
The UK's First Ever Geothermal Power Plant Opens In Cornwall And Will Now Power 10,000 Homes And Businesses
The United Kingdom's first ever geothermal power plant has been offered a deal to help power 10,000 homes in Cornwall, which lies in the South-West of
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