Local People Invited to Learn about Pioneering Scheme
An exhibition about a ground-breaking renewable energy scheme in South Tyneside is being held to allow local people to learn more about the project.
The event will provide information about an innovative minewater scheme in Hebburn which is set to cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by hundreds of tonnes.
The multi-million-pound system will see geothermal energy drawn from abandoned, flooded mines in the former Hebburn Colliery and used to heat council-owned buildings in the town, including residential tower blocks.
Residents are invited to the exhibition next week, to learn more about the history of the mines, and to gain an overview of the scheme and its aims and the construction of the system. It will feature diagrams, maps and photos, and officers will be on hand to answer any questions.
The project, which is being developed in collaboration with the Coal Authority and Durham University, will see water extracted by drilling vertical boreholes 300-400m into flooded coal mines underground.
An energy centre and pump room are likely to be located close to Hebburn Central, in the town centre. A water source heat pump will extract the heat from the minewater before it is compressed to a much higher temperature and then distributed to the heat network.
Cllr Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety with responsibility for climate change, said: "This innovative project is expected to deliver a reduction of 319 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, which will make it a key component in our drive to make the council carbon neutral by 2030.
"It will be one of the first council minewater heating systems in the UK. It's a fascinating concept and I am sure people will be keen to find out more about the scheme.
"The exhibition will provide an opportunity to ask questions, look at plans and learn about the design and construction of the system."
The £7million scheme will lay the foundations for potential future development and expansion of the network.
To comply with social distancing requirements, the exhibition will be by appointment only and restricted to one household per visit. People are also asked to wear masks if able to do so.
It will be held at St John's Church Hall, Canning Street, NE31 2UP, on the following dates: