New energy from old mines

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The Durham Energy Institute (DEI) is promoting a project looking into whether warm water left in flooded, abandoned mine workings in Spennymoor could be used as an energy source to provide heating. The water has a temperature between 12 and 20 degrees centigrade and could be used to increase the water temperature for thousands of homes, with the help of heat pump technology.

An initial study by DEI will establish the potential reserves before seeking funding for a pilot scheme.

Council support for university project

The project is being led by Dr Charlotte Adams, Assistant Professor in Durham University’s geography department, with the support of local Councillor Alan Gardner. Councillor Gardner said: “We have to look at renewable energy sources, as the cost of energy rises more and more people are falling into fuel poverty.

“With 2,000 more homes planned for construction in Spennymoor, an ageing population and ever increasing fuel costs, the use of renewable and sustainable energy to heat public and private spaces has the potential to help reduce the economic cost to the public, the environmental impact of population growth and take pressure off our ageing infrastructure.”

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