Scotland’s first deep geothermal district heating network given Scottish Government backing

Ross Developments & Renewables Ltd (RDRL) has announced that the Scottish Government has allocated £1.8m of grant funding to support the creation of Scotland’s first low carbon, renewable deep geothermal district heating network at The HALO Kilmarnock development in the West of Scotland.

Ken Ross, CEO of RDRL, one of the development partners for the project, said: “We are delighted to acknowledge the support and financial backing we have received from the Scottish Government through the Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Programme and the European Regional Development Fund for Scotland’s first deep (2 kilometres) geothermal district heating network which we are installing at the HALO Kilmarnock.”

The delivery of heat to the network will be from a deep geothermal single well (DGSW) which has been developed by Geon Energy Ltd – a joint venture between Geothermal Engineering Ltd and Arup. The DGSW is a single geothermal well that is drilled to a depth of 2km. Water heated by the surrounding rock is drawn up from depth using a small pump. The heat is then transferred to water in the heating system.

Sustainable heat

This innovative technology will generate sustainable heat for the redevelopment of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock. The HALO Kilmarnock community-led regeneration project will deliver a mixed-use development which will include an Innovation and Enterprise Centre, key worker and social rental housing, live work units, an urban park and a water based leisure facility. When completed over 1,800 jobs will be created on the site. Funding for the development overall has been received from the Scottish Government, UK Government, East Ayrshire Council, Diageo and private sector investors.

This deep geothermal district heating network will supply sustainable, renewable heat for the entire HALO development, including its key worker and social rental housing, addressing fuel poverty in the process by providing heat at below market price.

The lead developers will be The HALO Kilmarnock, Ltd in partnership with entrepreneur, Marie Macklin of Macklin Enterprise Partnerships, the Klin Group, Ross Developments & Renewables Ltd (RDRL), East Ayrshire Council and Diageo plc.

Single well

The £1.8m of grant funding support for the deep geothermal single well is being provided by the Scottish Government Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) and was announced by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP. The well is scheduled to be drilled and installed in the first half of 2018.

Ken Ross, OBE, CEO of RDRL, said: “We need new technology to enable us to meet our climate change objectives, but it is also a major contributor towards Scotland and the UK’s innovation, jobs and growth agenda. The HALO Kilmarnock will be the first District Heating Network to employ a deep well solution to provide geothermal heat.

Dr Ryan Law, Director of Geon Energy Ltd, said: “The use of geothermal energy represents a step change in producing low cost heat in a sustainable way.  It’s tremendously exciting that Scotland is leading the way on this innovative approach to energy production.”

Dr Matthew Free, Arup Director, Geon Energy Ltd, said: “It is fantastic that the Scottish Government is giving such strong support to the development of sustainable low carbon energy projects in Scotland. There is a substantial geothermal resource beneath our feet and we look forward to developing the first deep geothermal system in Scotland.”

Image: Arup


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