Environment Minister Rebecca Pow has been getting an update on progress at the Eden Project’s pioneering Geothermal energy scheme.

Drilling of the first well by Eden Geothermal Ltd began in the middle of May and has now reached 1,200 metres, about a quarter of the total depth.

Once complete, water will be injected down the borehole to be superheated by the hot rocks beneath. The hot water will then be pumped back to the top, generating heat initially to warm Eden’s Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, offices, kitchens and greenhouses. The same water will then be re-circulated to be superheated and used again.

A second well close to the first will then be drilled to a similar depth of around 4.5 kilometres.

The Eden Geothermal project will then have the potential to supply renewable heat to the Eden Project and neighbouring industries equivalent to the heat used by more than 35,000 homes, or renewable electricity to that consumed by around 14,000 homes.

At the geothermal site the Minister was hosted by Richard Day, Chairman of Eden Geothermal Ltd (EGL), and Augusta Grand, EGL’s Executive Director.

She was then met by Sir Tim Smit and Eden Project Interim Chief Executive David Harland on a journey around Eden, learning about the project - now in its 20th year - and the progress of other Edens around the UK and overseas.

The Minister was shown a model of Eden Project North in Morecambe, Lancashire, which it is hoped will open in 2024.

“The Eden Project is a shining example of the action being taken to create alternative heating sources and to pioneer sustainable ways of reaching Net Zero,” said Ms Pow.

“I was delighted to see the geothermal project and hear about its potential as a renewable energy source and then to plant a tree in the world-famous Eden gardens.

“The Plant for Our Planet initiative is encouraging everyone to do their bit to adapt to climate change. We must all take action – however small - to tackle climate change and restore nature, the Eden Project is focusing on these issues and I look forward to seeing how their work continues.”

£17 million funding was secured for the Geothermal energy project from a combination of European Regional Development Fund, Cornwall Council and commercial funding from GCP Infrastructure Investments Limited.