Stadtwerke Flensburg and Innargi A/S to Explore Potential for Geothermal Energy

Source: 5/11/2023, Location: Europe

Stadtwerke Flensburg and the geothermal developer Innargi will investigate whether the subsurface of Flensburg offers enough potential for a climate-neutral heat supply with geothermal energy. If successful, this would be a further step on Stadtwerke Flensburg’s transformation to climate neutrality.

Both companies signed an initial letter of intent on May 11, 2023, which defines the further steps to convert part of Flensburg’s district heating supply to climate-neutral geothermal energy.

Dirk Thole, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Flensburg, sees geothermal energy as a suitable building block for climate neutrality:
“In our transformation path, we have stipulated that we will be climate neutral by 2035 at the latest. This does not happen overnight or with just one step but is based on many different building blocks. If it turns out that Flensburg’s underground has enough potential for geothermal energy, that would be a great contribution to our journey towards climate neutrality.” Dirk Thole, Managing Director at Stadtwerke Flensburg

“At best, we could use geothermal energy to cover up to 25% of Flensburg’s district heating supply. That would be a giant step towards climate neutrality, since geothermal energy is a suitable addition to our planned large-scale seawater heat pumps.” Karsten Müller-Janßen, Head of Plant Construction and Projects at Stadtwerke Flensburg

“The Innargi team and I are delighted about this cross-border cooperation with Stadtwerke Flensburg. We are firmly convinced that geothermal energy will play an important role in the decarbonization of heat supply and we are proud to support Stadtwerke Flensburg on their journey towards climate neutrality. As a first step, we first need to find out what the subsurface conditions look like to assess whether the resources below Flensburg are sufficient for geothermal district heating generation.” Hildigunnur Thorsteinsson, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Innargi

Assessment of the subsurface
This will also include determining an optimal location for the potential deep drilling and integrating the heat into the district heating system of Stadtwerke Flensburg. Together with all other planned investigations, it will take about a year until all the necessary data is available. Then the project partners will evaluate whether the Flensburg geothermal potential is sufficient to be able to produce enough district heating at a competitive price.

If the result is positive, nothing should stand in the way of a contractual agreement on the construction and operation of a geothermal heating plant by Innargi.

Innargi carry capital costs and drilling risk
In principle Innargi A/S will be responsible for all exploration work and the construction of the geothermal heating plant and its operation as part of the project. Innargi also shoulders the investment costs and carries the risk for the well.

Stadtwerke Flensburg can accept the climate-neutral geothermal energy for their district heating customers and feed it into their heating network, but they can also use cheaper heat sources at their own discretion.

The Danish company Innargi is known worldwide as an expert for medium-deep to deep geothermal energy and has the necessary know-how from comparable projects. Experienced teams of geologists, reservoir, plant and drilling engineers will take on the planning and implementation of the project on site. Innargi relies on partnerships with district heating companies and cities across Europe. The company is currently building the EU’s largest geothermal heating plant in Aarhus, Denmark.

Geothermal energy:
Geothermal energy originates from the Earth’s core. From a depth of two to three kilometres, water with a temperature of 40 to 75 degrees is extracted via a production well. On the surface, the water would have to be heated to the temperature necessary for the district heating network with the help of high-temperature heat pumps. The cooled geothermal water would then be pumped back underground via another well and the cycle would be repeated. Experts assume that the potential for geothermal energy is higher in southern Germany because the water in the subsurface there has higher temperatures, but sufficient heat potentials cannot be ruled out in the north of the republic either.

Geothermal energy is available day and night, whether the sun shines or the wind is blowing. It is therefore ideal as a carbon and emission-free base load energy source.

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