Sunday, 1 November 2009

Geothermal plant to heat airport
27 October 2009

Fraport, the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport, has teamed up with D & S Geo Innogy and Daldrup &  Söhne to explore the potential of developing a deep geothermal power plant in Walldorf, Germany. Once completed, the power plant would be the first hybrid power station to use a combination of geothermal power and biogas for the production of electricity and heat, which would then be used at the airport.

Although numerous studies will be required before the plant gets the go-ahead, the developers claim they are confident that the system will, at the very least, enable them to supply part of the airport with geothermal energy for its heat requirements. Geologically, the Walldorf field belongs to the Upper Rhine Rift, an area that covers some 100km2. Over the next few months, a series of seismic explorations will be conducted to give the companies an idea of its geothermal potential.

After the preliminary studies, the joint-venture partners are planning to build at least one hybrid power station that will generate electricity and heat from geothermal power and biogas. The biogas is produced by RWE at a biogas plant in Saxony-Anhalt where it is refined to the same quality level as natural gas and will be delivered to the new plant via the gas grid. RWE Innogy set up a joint venture with Daldrup & Söhne in January to develop, plan and construct geothermal power stations. Daldrup & Söhne specialises in planning and conducting geothermal drillings, while D & S Geo Innogy develops existing fields owned by RWE Innogy.