Geothermal developer CeraPhi Energy has acquired a former fracking company with plans to repurpose the existing gas wells into clean energy centres.
CeraPhi acquired Third Energy and its subsidiaries including Wolfland Renewables and a 50% holding in West Heslerton Renewables.
Third Energy’s assets include eight well sites in North Yorkshire, consisting of 12 former gas wells in a suspended state as well as subterranean pipelines.
Geothermal specialist CeraPhi is aiming to use existing decommissioned wells and its closed-loop geothermal system to heat buildings and power installations across the UK.
Last year, CeraPhi completed the demonstration project last summer using Third Energy’s KM-8 well site located at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.
CeraPhi “de-risking” large scale heat systems
CeraPhi said its strategy is to “de-risk the scaling and commercialisation of large-scale heat networks” using boreholes down to a depth of 2km.
This reduces the space required for deployment of large-scale systems and increasing the extraction of thermal energy available for network connections.
By both drilling new wells and repurposing end-of-life and non-producing oil and gas wells, CeraPhi said its solution will provide “huge commercial potential” for the scaling of geothermal heat networks in the UK and globally.
CeraPhi Energy chief executive officer Karl Farrow said the decarbonisation of heat represents a “huge UK and global challenge” in meeting net zero targets.
“Combined with the continued insecurity customers face with volatility and seasonal cost of fossil fuels, we have to move geothermal energy to scale to reduce the cost of deploying direct use heat, which is an endless resource not subject to price fluctuation, enabling a move away from our dependency on fossil fuels within our day-to-day energy mix,” he said.
“By using the inexhaustible resource beneath our feet using closed-loop technology we can access this energy anywhere with zero environmental risk, requiring no hydraulic fracturing, no use of water and providing enough energy within the next 15 years to solve our energy crisis indefinitely.”
Third Energy managing director Russel Hoare said: ““Third Energy have been pursuing a transition strategy for several years now with geothermal energy at the centre of that strategy and in CeraPhi we have found a capable and accomplished partner, as proven by the successful geothermal demonstrator project at our KMA site last summer.
“Bringing together the expertise of CeraPhi with the assets of Third Energy is a natural progression and I look forward to working with Karl and his team to continue the story.”