Work begins on geothermal site

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Geothermal Engineering Limited (GEL) has started construction work at the United Downs site to bring its geothermal power and lithium extraction plants into full operation.

GEL expects the work to be completed by the summer, with the first power production set for Q4.

GEL’s flagship United Downs site, located near Redruth, is a UK first for geothermal power, harnessing the heat from hot granite rocks beneath Cornwall via two deep wells which were drilled and tested in 2019 and 2020.

Targeted production levels at United Downs and across the GEL portfolio are set at 25 MWe of baseload electricity and 100 MWh of heat energy by 2028, enough power and heat for 70,000 homes.

In addition to this, recent testing from GEL revealed that the geothermal fluid within the wells at the United Downs site has one of the highest concentrations of lithium in all of Europe.

GEL aims to procure 100 tonnes per annum (tpa) of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) from United Downs in late 2024. When lithium extraction capabilities are expanded to other GEL sites, it aims to increase production to over 12,000 tpa by 2030.