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Geo-thermal ‘gold mine’ mooted for north-east Scotland

Words: Roger Milne

North-east Scotland could become a world leader in environmentally friendly heating, thanks to its abundance of granite, say researchers involved in a groundbreaking project.

The igneous rock has historically been widely used across the region for building everything from bridges to mansions.

Now scientists are looking at ways to tap the hot water that naturally flows through the rock deep underground and use it to provide heat for an entire town.

The Hill of Banchory Geothermal Energy Project will see surveys undertaken at three locations in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, by Aberdeen University and the University of Glasgow.

A team of geologists plan to identify hotspots where groundwater is naturally heated by the granite and which could be extracted using a drill rig and pumped to local homes.

If the research proves successful, the heat could be harnessed through a distribution network across the entire area.

A positive result could also help the launch of similar projects across the wider region and turn the north-east into a geothermal goldmine.

The project is a joint venture between Jigsaw Energy, Hobesco Cluff Geothermal Ltd, the British Geological Survey, the universities, Town Rock Energy, and Ramboll.