geothermal drilling site

Major milestone reached as geothermal work picks up pace

Last updated on 9 May 2024

A collaborative project between Estates and the Sustainability Service is a step closer to discovering if geothermal energy underground campus can be used to heat buildings after reaching a major milestone.

The geothermal drilling stage of the project has now been completed at locations across campus and has provided experts with promising early results.

Testing of open and closed-loop boreholes has shown indications of excellent geothermal capacity and of possible optimal groundwater yield, which are both indicators of thepotential for geothermal energy underground.

If successful, the project could provide a clean, sustainable source of heat that reduces our reliance on both fossil fuels and electricity.

Drilling is continuing to take place on pilot wells on campus, which are helping to understand the ground model for geothermal drilling works.

Work will continue until the end of July, however the space required for operations will continue to be reduced over time.

Manhole chambers for closed-loop boreholes have now been installed at the Mechanical Engineering Building, Henry Price Residences and the Maurice Keyworth Building and returned to the University.

The project, which is part of the University’s Net Zero Delivery Plan, is bringing together experts from the Facilities Directorate and the academic community alongside specialists from ANTS Drilling and engineering firm Buro Happold.

David Oldroyd, Interim Director of Development at the University of Leeds, said: “This is an exciting collaborative project, with partners from both inside and outside of the University working closely together to make positive progress

“This work has the potential to save money, provide a more sustainable way of heating campus in line with the University’s Net Zero goals and set an example for future energy innovation.”

Find out more by visiting our project page and the Sustainability Services’s website.

Image credit: Ben Craven