The United Kingdom is investing around $3,300,000 into the development of a geothermal energy plant near Redruth, Cornwall, England.

The venture will be led by Geothermal Engineering Limited while the European Regional Development Fund will be backing the project. The revolutionary geothermal undertaking will be the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The project has been dubbed the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power, and it hopes to use the energy gathered by the power plant to supply electricity to the local grid.

The granite layer which lies beneath the area of Cornwall produces heat at such a rate that the rocks found there are hotter than anywhere else in the United Kingdom, which makes it the best possible place to extract energy for both power and heat.

UK Investing $3.3m in Countrys First Geothermal Energy Plant

According to Peter Ledingham, project manager of GEL:

“Cornwall has the best geothermal resources in the country but we have yet to press home our competitive advantage. By drilling and testing the deep wells at United Downs, we hope to prove the quality of the resource and demonstrate the viability of generating renewable electricity from it. The project therefore offers significant potential for economic growth in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, building on its reputation as a ‘green and marine’ region.”

The deputy leader of Cornwall Council, Julian German, said that she was very excited about the project and that it was a fantastic opportunity to utilize the unique geology Cornwall possesses to lead a new emerging sector of energy.

“Deep geothermal heat and energy could be a game changer for energy costs to both residents and businesses and help us eliminate fuel poverty in Cornwall,” said German.

Drilling for the project will start in early 2018 and will continue for about six months. It will take another year and a half to test the wells, characterize the geothermal system and install the power plant. The target commission date is in early 2020. If the pilot project is recognized as a success, further investments will be made into Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with the potential to develop a new geothermal industry based in the county.