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Hot water exploration for free heat

Work is about to start in Newcastle city centre to drill a deep hole to tape into a geothermal energy source.

The work will be carried out by the Newcastle and Durham Universities team, which will sink a hole 6,562ft (2,000m) below the planned Science Central site, the BBC News website reports.

The aim of the £900,000 project is to discover water at a temperature of about 80C (176F), which will be pumped out and used to heat the site and surrounding city centre buildings.

The project is expected to last six months with the team hoping to pump out the first hot water in June.

Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability director, Professor Paul Younger, told the BBC: “Our aim is to rise to the challenge of putting a novel form of deep geothermal energy at the very heart of city centre regeneration.

“It’s an incredibly exciting project. If we’re right and we pump up water at such elevated temperatures, it would mean a fully renewable energy supply for a large part of the city centre.”

The project is funded by the Newcastle Science City Partnership and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.