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Feasibility Report of Fortissat Community Minewater Geothermal Energy District Heating Network


Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Overview of Proposal

This report presents the findings of the feasibility assessment for a potential minewater geothermal energy system in the vicinity of the James Hutton Institute's (JHI) Hartwood Home Farm, North Lanarkshire. The study area extends 5km from the site centre, which is roughly equivalent to the Fortissat ward of North Lanarkshire, and includes the settlements of Hartwood, Allanton, Shotts and Salsburgh. A location plan is shown in Drawing 1.1.

The Fortissat Minewater Geothermal proposal is one of four projects awarded funding from the Scottish Government's Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund (GECF), for the 'Catalyst Stage' which covers initial strategy development and feasibility work. These projects have been funded to explore the potential of Scotland's geothermal resource to meet the energy needs of local communities.

The "site", for the purposes of the feasibility study and as the focus for defining locations for key infrastructure elements (such as production well, energy centre and reinjection well / passive treatment systems), has been Hartwood Home Farm, reflecting the role of JHI as the grantee. However, as the understanding of the geothermal resource developed, and the potential for Council owned properties to form the basis for the heat market, further engagement with North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) as project partner enabled the potential for alternative locations for site infrastructure within land in the ownership of NLC to be investigated as options. This has established the former Kingshill Colliery No. 1, now the designated Kingshill Local Nature Reserve (LNR) / Kingshill Wetlands and Plantations Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), as a potential site. Land ownership and control is shown in Drawing 1.2.

Kingshill Colliery is one of Scotland's largest historical mine systems and the mine seams partly underlie the southern area of Hartwood Home Farm. This was identified as by far the largest geothermal resource in the area of interest, and has been the main focus of this study, following a geothermal systems option appraisal which considered the various mine systems in the study area.

In parallel with the geothermal system options appraisal, an appraisal of the district heating network (DHN) design options and associated heat market has been undertaken. The initial focus for assessing the energy needs of local communities in the area encompassed the town of Shotts, the villages of Hartwood, Allanton and Salsburgh, and residential and non-residential development within the area. The feasibility study identified constraints and opportunities in relation to using the available geothermal energy to provide heat in this area, to inform the identification of potentially viable heat networks.

The geothermal- and DHN options appraisals have formed the basis for determining two main development options, in two locations, and with alternative methods for discharging the minewater. The two options are compared, with risks and opportunities identified for each, and a preliminary carbon audit undertaken. The preferred option locates the production well at or close to the site of the Kingshill shaft, with a passive minewater treatment system discharging the water at surface. This has the potential to alleviate existing minewater resurgence which affects properties in the village of Allanton and are an ongoing maintenance burden to NLC and residents. Alternative sizes of the district heat network are considered for this option. An alternative option has also been considered, which locates the production well and two reinjection wells within Hartwood Home Farm. The medium term development potential for the DHN is focused on the villages of Allanton and Hartwood, with potential future extension to Shotts identified as a long term development potential.

The feasibility study has also considered the potential business models and legal structures currently deployed for DHN in the UK, and potential Energy Services Company (ESCo) structures for the Fortissat Minewater Geothermal project, and how these might evolve over the lifetime of the development. A preliminary financial model has been prepared to assess the commercial viability of the development options, and the results are summarised.

On the basis that the Catalyst Stage has identified a potentially feasible project, and the outcomes of the engagement undertaken to date has been positive, the Next Steps and an indicative programme are set out for the Development Stage.

1.2 Project Team and Structure

The project team was appointed by the Project Managers, David Townsend of Town Rock Energy and Jelte Harnmeijer of James Hutton Institute, in part during the grant application process and in part shortly after the grant was awarded. The Grantee is James Hutton Ltd which is wholly owned by James Hutton Institute (JHI). Philip Gane of JHI led on administration of the grant. The key strategic partner is North Lanarkshire Council, who have been engaged in an ongoing process. The project team's structure is illustrated in the following organogram in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1: Project team structure

Figure 1.1: Project team structure

1.3 Report Structure

Following this Introduction, the report has been structured as follows:

Chapter 2: Environmental Baseline

Chapter 3: Geothermal Supply

Chapter 4: District Heat Network

Chapter 5: Development Options

Chapter 6: Delivery Model

Chapter 7: Next Steps

Report references are at the end of the main report.

Technical Appendices have been included from the sub-consultants providing further detail on the baseline information and optioneering which has informed the assessment process and outcomes:

Appendix 1: Glossary of Terms

Appendix 2: Minewater Geothermal Regulation, Guidance and Consultation

Appendix 3: Geothermal Technical Appendices

A3.1: Potential MineWater Heat Recovery at Hartwood Home Farm, North Lanarkshire

A3.2: Minewater Hydrology, Thermal Breakthrough Modelling, Minewater Hydrochemistry and Geo-Options Appraisal with Annex Drawings for Each Geo-Option

A3.3: Kingshill Water Field Monitoring and Laboratory Testing

A3.4: Kingshill Water Analysis

A3.5: Minewater Treatment at Kingshill

A3.6: Kingshill Site Visit

A3.7: Indicative Well Schematics

A3.8: Geothermal System Cost Assumptions for Financial Model

Appendix 4: District Heating Network and Energy Centre Cost Schedule for Financial Model

[There are no Appendices relating to Chapter 5]

Appendix 6: Delivery Model Case Study Site Visits

A6.1: Site Visit to Shettleston

A6.2: Site Visit to Aberdeen Heat And Power

[There are no Appendices relating to Chapter 7]