Energy ‘too cheap to meter’ from extinct volcano
Leeds City Council is set to tap underground geo-thermal heating from an ancient extinct volcano under South Leeds to offer cheap or free heating to local residents.
Following Stoke on Trent’s example, councils up and down the country have been studying their local geology. Leeds has identified that like Stoke, South Leeds is built on an ancient and now dormant volcano dating back more than 350 million years. By pumping water down to the hotter rocks a mile under the surface, energy can be produced. Local environmentally friendly flats, Greenhouse developed by CITU, use similar technology.
The project will need a ‘small’ power station and South Leeds Life understands that the vacant site next to Asda on Old Lane in Beeston has been selected. The site was owned by Tesco who had also planned to built a store there, but were refused planning permission in 2013. A drilling rig seen on the site in recent weeks is believed to have been checking that the site is suitable for the bore hole.
We understand the former golf course in Middleton Park was also considered, but was ruled out when Wades Charity, which owns the land, objected. This may explain the delay in starting the current consultation on the future of the park after the Executive Board decision to close the course last September.
Whilst some residents have welcomed the chance to cut their fuel bills and the possibility of new local jobs, others are concerned about the pollution, noise and disruption of another major development in the Old Lane community. Others are concerned that the talk of geo-thermal energy is a smokescreen for a fracking (shale gas) operation. Some local residents have called for a public meeting to launch a campaign to stop the scheme under the banner Beeston United for the Greater Good and Environmental Responsibility (BUGGER).
Detailed proposals are yet to appear on the Public Access planning portal, South Leeds Life will report as soon as they do. In the meantime we would like to hear your views in the comments below.