Aberdeen’s famous granite could be used to create a new geothermal energy plant.
Scottish Enterprise is funding a major study into the creation of a geothermal energy plant in the granite city – construction of a test plant is expected to begin in March 2012 between Aberdeen and Peterhead.
Geothermal energy exploits the high temperatures found miles below the Earth’s surface to generate electricity – the average temperature rises by approximately 150°C at four miles underground but can increase to 210°C in granite rich areas, producing ideal conditions for geothermal energy production.
Surveys have identified locations near Peterhead, Inverurie and Stonehaven where such high temperature granite conditions could exist.
The possibility of a geothermal energy plant would help support the Energetica project aimed at establishing Aberdeen City and Shire’s as a global energy hub by creating a 30-mile corridor of energy technology companies, housing and leisure facilities from Aberdeen to Peterhead.
Energetica project director Sara Budge said: “As part of our quest to make Energetica a world-class, all-energy destination, we are exploring various avenues for generating renewable energy in the corridor which stretches north from the Bridge of Don up to Peterhead and west to Aberdeen Airport.”
“Geothermal is one source we are considering. We have just issued a tender to appoint an appropriate organisation to undertake a feasibility study into the potential for geothermal heat generation within Energetica but also in other locations across Aberdeenshire.”