Power firm Third Energy today announces that it is to launch a project aimed at producing clean and renewable energy from natural heat from underground sources in the Ryedale area.
In what is the first scheme of its kind in the UK, Third Energy and Ryedale District Council have secured Government funding for feasibility studies to see if natural heat can be drawn from deep gas extraction wells.
The wells, including one originally drilled for fracking purposes, are based underneath the ground near Pickering, Kirby Misperton, Dalby and Wykeham Forests, and are thought to have strong potential for the production of geothermal energy.
Third Energy, which until its takeover in January, had intended to carry out fracking in parts of Yorkshire but under its new management has vowed to forswore the controversial practice in favour of green and renewable energy.
Ryedale District Council secured a £50,000 government grant to help fund the work. This sum has been match funded by the company and the feasibility work is ongoing.
If shown to be viable, the wells could heat private homes, as well as leisure, commercial or agricultural buildings – bringing significant benefits for communities and the local economy.
And while Third Energy could not put a value on the project in terms of jobs, it told The Yorkshire Post that it hoped to take on new staff as the company grows and as new projects start.
Russell Hoare, Managing Director of Third Energy, said: “This is potentially a sustainable energy source right under our feet.
“Given the urgent need to decarbonise the energy system and eliminate fuel poverty, we are pleased to be working with Ryedale District Council and the Government to address these two issues.”
Councillor Mike Potter, Member Champion for Climate Change at Ryedale District Council, said: “The potential of this project is very exciting.
“The idea of using geothermal energy ties in with our own ambitions set out in our Climate Change Action Plan.”
Third Energy is also looking to produce green hydrogen at its Knapton site. It plans to use electricity from the grid connection and, if production was successful, hydrogen could be supplied to HGV, waste removal vehicles, trains or into the grid.
Ryedale District Council is holding consultation events with residents regarding the proposals and is offering an online survey on the matter at https://ryedale.commonplace.is/.