International law firm Eversheds has advised Geothermal Engineering Ltd on securing the land for the development of the UK's first commercial deep geothermal power plant, near Redruth in Cornwall, which has now been granted planning permission by Cornwall Council. Eversheds is continuing its role advising on the funding and construction of the project.

The plant is to be built on a brownfield site within an existing industrial estate. Work will begin in early 2011 to drill 4.5 kilometres into the ground to access rocks at temperatures of approximately 200 degrees Celsius. This will be the deepest on-shore well in the UK. The plant will provide up to 55 MW of renewable heat energy for the local community, and 10 MW of electricity. 55 MW of heat is the equivalent of heating 20 schools for a year, while 10 MW of electricity is enough power for 20,000 homes.

The Eversheds team was led by partner Stephen Hill who was assisted by solicitor Peter Dilks. Stephen comments:

"This is an extremely exciting project which will help develop the UK's geothermal expertise, allowing the UK to compete internationally as the geothermal industry expands across the world. Eversheds has vast experience in advising on renewables projects and we are delighted to have helped Geothermal Engineering in securing the land and thus making this latest venture possible. We look forward to progressing the project and assisting Geothermal Engineering with the associated funding and construction issues."

Ryan Law, Managing Director of Geothermal Engineering Ltd and chair of the Renewable Energy Association's Deep Geothermal Group, added:

"With the development of our plant we want to make deep geothermal energy a significant contributor to the UK's energy portfolio. Not only can we contribute renewable, continuous power to the grid, we also want to change the way the UK meets its heat demands by offering energy-efficient, decentralised heat. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has already estimated that deep geothermal technology could supply between one and five GW of baseload, renewable electricity by 2030. We greatly appreciate the advice and assistance that Eversheds have brought to this project."

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