Funding for deep geothermal projects

Funding to develop deep geothermal projects is being provided through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme. Running from 2014-2020 the European funded economic regeneration programme for the region will contribute to the EU ambition to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (C&IoS) European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) strategy has identified deep geothermal as a priority investment and an indicative £10.6m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) from the Growth Programme has been allocated for deep geothermal projects. Cornwall Council has also identified the deep geothermal resource as an economic opportunity with social and environmental benefits (Deep geothermal in Cornwall). Providing investment to unlock the industry to exploit the resource can help to meet many strategic priorities set out in the Council’s strategy and business plan.

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On behalf of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Department for Communities and Local Government (the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund), have issued a call for proposals with an indicative value of up to £10.6m to unlock deep geothermal proposals. In addition, Cornwall Council is providing up to £2.4m local match funding for Cornwall based projects.

Applications will be assessed in line with the ESIF programme process by the Managing Authority.The local match funding made available to successful applicants invited to submit a full ERDF application. The local match funding also has its own set of conditions. These include standard conditions and some project specific conditions which are set out in section 5.2 of the agreement. The local match funding will be awarded in line with an ERDF award.

To maximise any future potential benefits for Cornwall, should the project be a success, the additional match funding grant conditions will ensure that the project:

  1. Publishes all research findings to help unlock subsequent projects and the wider industry.
  2. Presents evidenced results in terms of further exploitation opportunities to Cornwall Council.
  3. Progresses a demonstration well to a commercial project where viable.
  4. Negotiates with the Council to either repay the Councils grant or negotiate a revenue stream if the project is to be progressed to generation.
  5. Consults the Council to agree a minimum level of community benefits and local supply provided by a generating project.
  6. Gives the Council first refusal on any further investment opportunity.

The Council reserves the right to amend these conditions to apply to the successful project proposal. For a copy of the grant agreement or any queries please email the geothermal policy officer at futureeconomy@cornwall.gov.uk

Should applicants require assistance with the application process, technical assistance will be available from the Cornwall Development Company.Please contact mail@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk