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Could Cardiff be sitting on an underground heating system?

A bold new project to discover whether Cardiff could be sitting on top of a potential underground heating system has received a funding award from Innovate UK of over 250k.

The partnership project between City of Cardiff Council, Cardiff-based business WDS Green Energy and the British Geological Survey aims to show how heat within shallow groundwater under the Welsh capital could be used to provide a renewable low carbon heating source for homes and businesses in the city.

The project will take the temperature of the water stored underneath the city, monitor heat lost from underground structures and then design and build a prototype portable testing module which is based on ground source heat pump technology.

It will then investigate whether the technology could be up-scaled to support the design and delivery of district scale heat networks in the future.

Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, Cllr Ramesh Patel, said:  “This project forms part of Cardiff’s innovation platform in renewable technology and showcases the City’s commitment to exploring and adapting renewable energy technology to help meet the   growing demand for renewable energy and energy resilience to secure our future.”

“Schemes of this type are relatively new to the UK but similar technology has been successfully used in Norway, where water from local fjords is used as a heat source and has generated significant cash and carbon benefits.”

“This project will allow us to fully investigate the potential for Cardiff.  If successful the project will represent a step-change in the UK renewable energy market and will help directly address the challenges of carbon reduction, energy security and fuel costs.”

David Tucker of WDS Green Energy, said:  “As a specialist in ground source heat pump engineering company, we’re looking forward to working with the City of Cardiff Council and British Geological Survey on this unique project, and demonstrating to the public the benefits of low carbon, renewable technology in an urban environment using ground water from beneath the city.”

Dave Boon, Deputy Head of BGS Wales, said:  “This exciting innovation project is the first of its kind in Wales, and will help cities across the UK to explore, develop and sustainably manage their shallow geothermal heat resources for future generations.”

 Source: Cardiff Council

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