Dutch City Opens World's First Mine Water Power Station

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

mine water plant

Last week, the Dutch city of Heerlen opened the world’s first geothermal power station that uses water heated in old coalmine shafts. The power station works by pumping water up from 800 meters deep in the mines. At that depth, the water reaches a temperature of 35 C (95 F). It heats 350 homes and is pumped back into the mines after use, where it recirculates two to three times a year.

Chip in a few dollars a month to help support independent cleantech coverage that helps to accelerate the cleantech revolution!

Scientists working on the project say that it will produce 55 percent fewer CO2 emissions than a coal-fired power station. They are working on a carbon capture system for the geothermal power station— but such systems can take many years to get going.

The only major drawback to the project is that homes can only use the power station’s heat if they are close to the mines. But in old mining towns with lots of jobless residents, geothermal projects such as Heerlen’s could be just the thing to get the local economy moving.

Photo credit: The Minewater Project

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica.TV Video

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.