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GT Energy and ESBI sign partnership to build Ireland's first geothermal energy plant

GT Energy, a leading company that specialises in harnessing deep geothermal energy in the development and provision of renewable heat and electricity, has entered into a Technology Partnership Agreement (TPA) with ESB International (ESBI).
Under the agreement, GT Energy will generate up to 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity using geothermal energy by 2020, and ESBI will assist the company with the design of the generating equipment and grid connection design work. The two companies will work together to share information, expertise and resources to support GT Energy’s plans to develop a number of deep geothermal electricity projects across the Island of Ireland.
Geothermal energy is a renewable and sustainable energy source generated from the heat in the earth’s core. It is harnessed by extracting hot water and/or steam from deep underground and using it to generate heat and electricity. Although already widely used around the world in countries such as Iceland, the US, Italy, France and Germany, to date no deep geothermal projects have been completed in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
GT Energy has identified a number of sites on the Island of Ireland, including Dublin, that offer potential for the development of geothermal energy plants. In addition to delivering energy for heating purposes, many of these would have the capacity to generate about 5 MW of electricity. This additional renewable generation capacity would assist in meeting Ireland’s renewable energy obligations and delivering on the National Renewable Energy Action Plan.
GT Energy recently announced that it had raised first round funding through NCB Corporate finance and secured grant aid from the British Government. Padraig Hanly, Managing Director of GT Energy, says the agreement with ESBI is a

“further endorsement of the company’s business model, management team and its compelling environmental proposition.”
“We are delighted to be working with ESBI. Their technical expertise and experience in the area of electricity generation, plant construction, grid connection and knowledge of the single electricity market will be highly valuable to us and will complement our team’s broad experience of identifying, analysing and developing deep geothermal energy projects.  This collaboration brings us closer to delivering Ireland’s first geothermal electricity project.”
Gerry White, Manager, Market and Technology Developments, ESBI, said: “ESBI is interested in all forms of renewable energy, and is already involved in the development of wind and ocean energy projects. We believe geothermal energy could have very significant potential in Ireland and we will be committing resources to assist GT Energy in bringing its projects to fruition. This technology is very attractive because it is one of the very few renewable energy sources that is not intermittent. This means that it is not affected by time of day, season or meteorological conditions and is ‘always on’, thus giving it the distinct advantage of being able to deliver base load electricity to the grid.”
Padraig Hanly added: “Unlike some other renewable energy sources, geothermal energy is likely to get a preferred status for grid connection to the all Ireland electricity grid because most of the projects’ installed generation capacity will be under 5MW, meaning that limited additional networks and capital investment is required to bring the electricity onto the existing grid network.”

Pictured above at a site in Rathcoole where thumper trucks are gathering seismic data on the deep geological structures in South Dublin are (l to r): Padraig Hanly, managing director of GT Energy and Gerry White, Manager, Market and Technology Developments, ESBI.

Article taken from http://www.businessandfinance.ie

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