Deep Geothermal Energy Marks New Era for Eden Project and UK

growing point nursery eden project harvesting vegetables

Eden Project heats Biomes, offices, and nursery sustainably using UK's first operational deep geothermal well since 1986. (Credit: Eden Project LinkedIn)

by | May 28, 2024

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In a pioneering development for sustainable energy in the UK, the Eden Project’s Biomes, offices, and new state-of-the-art plant nursery were heated this winter using deep geothermal energy. This initiative marks the first use of an operational deep geothermal well in the UK since 1986, setting a precedent for renewable energy utilization.

The 3.1-mile well on the Eden Project site operated by Eden Geothermal Ltd started generating heat in June 2023. As the colder weather set in, the well began supplying heat to the Eden Project’s extensive Biomes, the new plant nursery and education hub, and office spaces. This technology is anticipated to save up to 500 tons of carbon dioxide annually, effectively taking the Eden Project nearly entirely off gas energy. This reduction is equivalent to the heating requirements of 227 UK homes, representing a significant stride towards the organization’s goal of achieving net zero and becoming climate-positive by 2030.

Growing Point Educational Facility

Beyond heating the Biomes and offices, geothermal energy is pivotal to the new plant and education facility, Growing Point. This nursery exemplifies regenerative sustainability and circular systems in its construction and operation.

Rob Chatwin, Eden Project Group, CEO

“We are determined that the new greenhouse and education facility will be the embodiment of our regenerative sustainability and systems approach to development and a means to explore and understand how natural ecosystems are interconnected as part of a circular economy.”

Regenerative sustainability goes beyond merely minimizing harm; it aims to improve conditions by actively restoring and enhancing environmental, social, and economic systems. Circular systems, or the circular economy, strive to minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency through reuse, recycling, and regeneration.

Extending the Growing Season

Growing Point, constructed from lightweight and recyclable materials, embodies these principles. It collects rainwater and utilizes geothermal heat to cultivate plants for the Eden Project’s gardens, restaurants, and shops. This facility demonstrates sustainable practices and is a model for future initiatives.

Si Bellamy OBE, Chief Transformation Officer at the Eden Project, emphasized the broader implications of this development: “We are working with and for nature to develop new ways to grow and encourage people to think differently about plants, the planet, and themselves. We have built a landmark sustainable nursery and education facility – a pillar of our wider ambitions for the future impact and expansion of the Eden Project, and it will help us accelerate massively our mission towards a climate-positive future.”

The utilization of deep geothermal heat enables the Eden Project’s horticulture team to extend the growing season for fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables. This technology also facilitates the cultivation of exotic produce such as bananas, papayas, ginger, and lemongrass, which would typically require importation. This capability enhances local food production and reduces the carbon footprint associated with importing such goods.

The Eden Project’s adoption of deep geothermal energy showcases a significant advancement in renewable energy technology and sustainable practices.

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