Scientists drilling geothermal borehole hit hot water source

A team from Newcastle University and Geometric Drilling are drilling up to 2,000m underground to find hot water to heat buildings in the city.

The underground water is 80 degrees centigrade. The borehole is on the university’s science central site, which will be home to the its sustainability research initiatives and was once the site of the Scottish and Newcastle Brewery.

The £1m project is funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Newcastle Science City Partnership and the British Geological Survey.

Project lead Professor Paul Younger, director of the university’s Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, said: “Our aim is to rise to the challenge of putting a novel form of deep geothermal energy at the very heart of city centre regeneration.

“This is a golden opportunity to see if we can provide some, if not all, of the energy requirements for science central from the most low-carbon energy source there is.

“If we’re right and we pump up water at such elevated temperatures, it would mean a fully renewable energy supply for a large part of the city centre, massively reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and reinforcing Newcastle’s position as the UK’s most sustainable city.”