Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Eden plans for geothermal plant

Eden Project
The Eden Project is drafting plans for a geothermal plant

Plans are being drafted for a geothermal energy plant to be built at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The sustainable energy plant would provide heat and electricity for the attraction and 4,000 homes on the National Grid.

Geothermal systems use the Earth's natural heat to warm water which in turn produces steam, powers turbines and generates electricity and heat.

The Eden Project is hoping to submit the proposals in January.

'Hot rocks'

It is estimated that the plant would generate three megawatts of electricity.

Matt Hastings, energy manager for the Eden Project, said: "It's a challenge we have to take. We're up against the wall in terms of our renewable energy targets, and if we don't take this leap of faith then the road has a dangerous dead end."

Two wells would be drilled 4,000m deep into the ground to reach the "hot rocks" which power the system.

Mr Hastings said: "Our education mission means we have to walk the talk and practice what we preach and achieve the main aim of our energy policy which is to achieve 100% renewable energy."

The Eden Project is working alongside German company Engineered Geothermal Systems who were involved in the a commercially viable Geothermal plant in Landau, Germany.

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