Onshore drilling specialists IGas have secured the status of preferred bidder to source geothermal heat for Manchester’s Wythenshawe Hospital.
IGas told investors two months ago that it was in talks with owners of up to 35 sites, many on NHS premises, for its deep-sourced heat. Today it confirmed its leading role at Wythenshawe in an announcement to investors.
Last year the operator submitted five tenders for the Wythenshawe innovation under the Carbon & Energy Framework, a government mechanism created to foster & manage complex energy upgrades in the NHS and public sector. The CEF says it has guided or is managing 60 schemes for big infrastructure upgrades.
At 950 beds, Wythenshawe Hospital is one of Manchester’s largest teaching hospitals, with specialisms in cardiothoracic medicine.
To progress the Wythenshawe project, IGas announced this morning that an innovation partnership will be set up between IGas’s geothermal division, the hospital’s trust and the CEF, to provide a framework for the parties to work together through the project’s development phases,. Further developments will be announced.
IGas is in course of transitioning away from drilling for oil and gas, in a strategic shift to low carbon energy. Last year it wrote down £30 million as it abandoned plans to produce shale gas via hydraulic fracturing. It plans to re-brand as Star Energy after next month’s annual general meeting.
The company also expects further progress later this year in digging two geothermal shafts up to 1.5 kilometres deep under Stoke-on-Trent’s Etruria neighbourhood, pictured. The firm expects imminent financial close on that project, with digging earmarked to begin later this year.
Financing of the Etruria shafts depends on the outcome of a funding application to the Green Heat Network Fund Transition Scheme, a three year, £288 million capital grant fund set up to support the construction of new low and zero carbon heat networks including deep geothermal wells.
It has lined up SSE Energy Solutions as offtaker for the Etruria project.