Arup has signed a commitment to purchase Renewable Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs) from the UK’s first deep geothermal electricity plant when it starts producing electricity.
The plant operator Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL) this week announced drilling has started at the United Downs Industrial Estate in Cornwall. The project is aimed at demonstrating the potential of geothermal resource in the UK to produce electricity and renewable heat.
Arup has committed to purchasing 9000 MWh/year allowing Arup to supply zero carbon electricity to all 15 of its offices across the UK, based on the firm’s current energy usage.
Two deep geothermal wells will be drilled into the granite rock beneath the site, the deepest of which will reach 4.5 kilometres. Water pumped from the deepest well at a temperature of approximately 190C will be fed through a heat exchanger at the surface and then re-injected into the ground to pick up more heat from the rocks in a continuous cycle. The extracted heat will be converted into electricity and supplied to the National Grid.