Geothermal well site at Kirkby Misperton

Ground-breaking green energy scheme underway in Ryedale

A pioneering project is underway in Ryedale, aimed at producing clean renewable energy from underground.

Government-funded feasibility studies are being undertaken to see if natural heat can be drawn from deep gas extraction wells (including one originally drilled for fracking), and provided to homes and businesses.

If successful, the scheme will be the first of its kind in the UK – reducing the district’s carbon footprint in the process.

Local residents and businesses are now being asked to give their views about the idea.

Third Energy, which owns 12 wells in Ryedale, has commissioned investigations to establish if they can be repurposed for geothermal energy. Ryedale District Council secured a £50,000 government grant to help fund the work.  This sum has been match funded by the company, which has new owners and is no longer interested in using the wells for fracking or gas extraction.

Early indications are that at least some of the wells – near Pickering, Kirby Misperton and in Dalby and Wykeham Forests – could be used for geothermal energy. The wells are thousands of feet deep, and one is known to contain water up to 80-90° Celsius.

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.

Councillor Mike Potter, Member Champion for Climate Change for 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.”

The Council is keen to hear what local residents think. Events will be held during June and July and people will also be able to complete a survey. More information about the project and the survey can be found at https://ryedale.commonplace.is/.

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.”

Third Energy is also part of the Net Zero RISE research group with a number of universities. This means that the feasibility work in Ryedale will help to inform wider understanding about the potential for geothermal energy in the UK – www.ncl.ac.uk/business-and-partnerships/expert-solutions/collaborative-research/net-zero-rise/.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information, contact Jaelithe Leigh-Brown, Senior Communications Manager at Ryedale District Council – 07435 934952, jaelithe.leigh-brown@ryedale.gov.uk

Additional information

The engagement programme is being funded by an additional £30,000 grant from the Government. Engagement events already organised are:

  • June 7 – an online presentation and discussion. People can register by emailing info@arch-comms.co.uk.
  • June 13 – a presence at Pickering Market.
  • July 6 - public events in Pickering (afternoon) and Malton (evening).

More events will be arranged and promoted in the coming weeks.

Ryedale District Council’s Climate Change Action Plan can be found at www.ryedale.gov.uk/information/community/action-on-climate-change/.