This feasibility study was commissioned and funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Heat Network Delivery Unit to consider geothermal heat for two neighbouring sports facilities (Ellesmere Port Sports Village and David Lloyd Cheshire Oaks). Synergie Environ worked with geothermal energy consultancy TownRock Energy to quantify the most compatible heat demands, size supply options, and propose heat network distribution routes.
To avoid reducing economic benefits from the sites’ gas fired combined heat and power plants, and maximise heat pump efficiency, it was proposed to supply low temperature heat to the swimming pools.
Synergie Environ estimated a simple payback of thirteen years, an internal rate of return (IRR) of 3.5% at twenty-five years, and greenhouse gas savings of 24 kt CO2e – a 91% reduction from business-as-usual. However, if gas prices increase as forecast and the heat pump operated using off-peak electricity, it was estimated that the development would payback within ten years, with a twenty-five-year IRR of 7.5%.
Geothermal heat could be more attractive where new natural gas networks would be required, as this would reduce its marginal cost. In addition, HM Government has a stated goal to reduce use of fossil fuel boilers. Consequently, it is recommended that the potential for geothermal heat is considered at an early stage of development.
Synergie Environ have worked on several projects with TownRock Energy and look forward to continuing our work with them to best utilise our geological assets.