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14 Mar 2011 01:03:13

Commercial geothermal power agreement signed

Commercial geothermal power agreement signed
A deal has been signed which could see the development of the UK's first commercial geothermal power source.

Cluff Geothermal has inked an agreement with Lafarge for the exploitation of geothermal resources below a former cement works at Eastgate, near Stanhope, the Northern Echo reported.

Under the deal, the two 1km deep boreholes currently at the site will be extended to 3km, allowing access to water heated to a temperature of 120 degrees C.

George Percy, managing director of Cluff Geothermal, said water at this temperature can be used both for generating electricity and supporting other projects, such as a hydrothermal spa.

"Eastgate is one of the best places in Europe to tap into these resources," he told the news provider.

Operations at the site could begin as early as the end of this year and more detailed plans will be developed over the coming months.

According to the news provider, the signing of the deal has raised expectations that a major eco-project could be developed in County Durham.

Last month, drilling of a 2km borehole in Newcastle city centre began, which project leaders believe will grant them access to water heated to 80 degrees C, to warm a planned science park and other nearby buildings.  ADNFCR-1235-ID-800459658-ADNFCR

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