Rigs drilling 196m down in £3.8m decarbonisation scheme

John Psaila from Finn Geotherm pictured with Paul Kunes.

John Psaila from Finn Geotherm pictured with Paul Kunes. - Credit: West Norfolk Council

Holes twice as deep as Norwich Cathedral's spire is tall are being drilled into to ground as part of a £3.8m scheme to decarbonise the west of the county.

Ground source heat pumps are being installed at council buildings in west Norfolk following decarbonisation grants worth more than £3.8m.

Drilling rigs first started sinking the boreholes at West Norfolk Council depot this week, which allows the council to take a "major leap forward" in decarbonising around six council buildings including Alive Lynnsport, South Lynn Community Centre and Alive Oasis in Hunstanton.

The drills will bore down 196 metres into the ground, which is more than double the height of the Norwich Cathedral spire, and the reduction in carbon emissions from the overall project is estimated at a total of 494 tonnes per year.

Drilling rig onsite at West Norfolk Council depot.

Drilling rig onsite at West Norfolk Council depot. - Credit: West Norfolk Council

An environmentally-friendly heating system is being installed following grants from central government which will help WNC become carbon neutral "as soon as possible".

The grants have been awarded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and from the Government’s £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) fund.

Paul Kunes, cabinet member with responsibilities for carbon reduction, said they have been reducing CO2 at the council for a number of years but only in "fairly small steps", adding that he hopes they will be leaders in the area with others carrying our similar schemes on their buildings after seeing the savings in CO2.

Most Read

He said the grants would allow the council to "completely decarbonise" its big buildings including swimming pools and leisure centres by putting in ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and roof solar panels.

Alive Lynnsport are posting fitness videos on their Facebook page to help residents keep fit whilst

Alive Lynnsport. - Credit: Ian Burt

He said: "By using a renewable resource to generate heat this helps to save carbon that would usually be emitted by burning gas or oil.

"Ultimately, switching to a renewable heating system allows for a reduction in the council's carbon footprint, especially when coupled with renewable electricity generation from solar panels which will also be installed by the end of September.

"This is really exciting news and means a very big step forward in the council's aim to become carbon neutral as soon as possible.”

The scheme is part of the council’s ongoing Re:Fit programme, as it seeks to remove carbon from its existing stock of buildings.