An iconic lido in Cornwall is going to be leading the way in renewable energy use, thanks to a European grant of £1.4 million for the installation of a geothermal energy system. Once it's installed, the lido will be the first outdoor swimming facility of its kind in the UK to use geothermal power for heating.
The project is being managed by Geothermal Engineering Ltd in conjunction with a local community group and will be delivered at Penzance's Jubilee Pool, which has already been upgraded with repairs and upgrades after the huge storms of 2014.
A dedicated section of the pool will be heated through geothermal sources, whilst the remaining area will maintain a normal cooler temperature. The hope is that the project will place Penzance firmly on the map for renewable energy whilst allowing the pool to cut carbon emissions and save on energy costs.
Private investment is also being included in the initial project costs, and a remaining £500,000 of funding still needs to be found for final structural repairs. The geothermal site well is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The pool's managers also said that the installation of the geothermal facility would 'drastically reduce' greenhouse gas emissions and avoid fears of fluctuating energy bills. Additionally, the knowledge and expertise gained through the work could then be extended elsewhere as part of the UK's bid to become a clean energy leader.
The Jubilee Pool project will be the UK's first deep geothermal project for over 25 years, taking water from under the Earth's crust using deep boreholes which will flush through pipes on a continual loop, heating the pool in a truly renewable way. The installation will also need minimal servicing, making it particularly efficient.