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Geothermal Engineering bids for Regional Growth Fund cash

A British company which is developing the UK’s first commercial-scale deep geothermal power plant has bid for a share of the Government’s £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund. 

Geothermal Engineering has submitted a bid to the fund, which aims to stimulate enterprise by providing support to projects that have significant potential for creating long term private sector growth.

The company plans to develop up to 30 geothermal plants in Devon and Cornwall with the capacity to meet half of Cornwall’s current electricity demand. 

It already has planning approval, gained in August 2010, to build its first geothermal power plant near Redruth, Cornwall. The plant will use Cornwall’s natural geothermal resources to produce 10MW of electricity, to be fed into the National Grid; and 55MW of heat energy, which will be used for a wide range of local uses. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the deep geothermal resource of Cornwall alone could supply 10% of the National Grid’s baseload electricity demand.

The company says that the development of Cornwall’s abundant deep geothermal resource would contribute towards a new sustainable private sector industry, and would also catalyse the industry throughout the UK, helping to create engineering, manufacturing and construction jobs. 

Geothermal Engineering managing director Ryan Law said: “The deep geothermal sector represents an enormous opportunity for the economy and as an industry could provide up to 30,000 jobs in the UK.  The South West (in particular Devon and Cornwall) has a good deep geothermal resource and we hope the government will recognise that with a relatively minor investment, Geothermal Engineering will be able to leverage the private capital required to transform the region by creating new jobs, boosting local industry and attracting private investment across the UK.  Germany, for example, now exports its deep geothermal rigs for over €25M (£21M) each.”

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