Renewable Energy System Design & Development
Coal mines to be transformed into renewable energy system
Geothermal energy will be drawn from mines in the former Hebburn Colliery to heat council-owned buildings in the town.
Really glad to see the first large scale heat from minewater project going ahead in the North East of England. Minewater is a massively under utilised resource that is available in many parts of the UK and in some, if not all, cases already being pumped to avoid flooding. By its nature, minewater is warm, maybe around 20°C or warmer, meaning the high heat pump efficiencies can be obtained especially when used with a lower temperature heat network. Key issues are understanding the available flow rates from the mine and ensuring that the minewater resource doesn’t run out as well as protecting the heat pump and its equipment from the toxins in the minewater. The latter can be solved by using the correct heat exchange product.
Laura Bishop MD Infinitas Design
NB: In conjunction with the Clean Rivers Trust, Infinitas Design had initial conversations with the coal authority back in 2015 so it is great to see a project come to fruition. Hope to see plenty more after this.
Article by Jane Imrie
Abandoned coal mines in South Tyneside are set to become an integral part of a new multi-million pound renewable energy project.
Geothermal energy will be drawn from mines in the former Hebburn Colliery to heat council-owned buildings in the town as part of a £7m scheme developed in collaboration with the Coal Authority and Durham University.
The project will see water extracted from the flooded mines by drilling vertical boreholes 300-400m underground, before being compressed to a much higher temperature and then distributed to the heat network.
The project, which has secured preliminary approval for £3.5m funding from the European Regional Development Fund, is set to take a step forward next week with the expected appointment of a main scheme designer by South Tyneside Council.
Cllr Joan Atkinson, lead member for area management and community safety, commented: “This is a highly innovative scheme, which will be one of the first council minewater district heating systems in the UK.
“It is expected to deliver a reduction of 319 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, which will make it a key component in our drive to make the council carbon neutral by 2030.
“This is an exciting project which will make a significant contribution to our ambition for carbon neutrality and a greener, more sustainable borough.”