Drilling for warmth


Stirling Times - - News - Kate Leaver

GEOTHERMAL drills have reached the Yar­ra­gadee aquifer that will heat the City of Stir­ling’s $26 mil­lion Scarborough beach pool.

Scarborough Beach Pool will be the 13th Perth swim­ming pool to use geothermal heat­ing, ac­cord­ing to se­nior hy­dro­ge­ol­o­gist Steve Bolton from Rock­wa­ter Hy­dro­ge­ol­o­gists, the com­pany that de­signed the Scarborough sys­tem.

“The City of Stir­ling joins sev­eral other lo­cal gov­ern­ments and pri­vate schools with geother­mally heated swim­ming pools,” he said.

“This year, di­rect-use geothermal projects will also be com­mis­sioned at the Man­durah Aquatic and Recre­ation Cen­tre and the Cock­burn ARC.

“The City of Ar­madale is also about to com­mence drilling for a geothermal sys­tem at its Ar­madale Aquatic Cen­tre.”

Mr Bolton said the project in­volved pump­ing wa­ter from the aquifer us­ing the aquifer’s nat­u­ral heat to main­tain the pool tem­per­a­ture.

“The wa­ter is then in­jected back into the Yar­ra­gadee aquifer; it is a closed loop op­er­a­tion whereby no net wa­ter is ex­tracted from the aquifer,” he said.

Mr Bolton said ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy could al­low for elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion from Perth Basin’s geothermal en­ergy in the near fu­ture.

Stir­ling act­ing in­fra­struc­ture direc­tor Paul Kel­lick said the geothermal tech­nol­ogy would al­low for re­new­able en­ergy to be used to heat the pool rather than con­ven­tional gas boil­ers.

“It is es­ti­mated that this will re­sult in a green­house gas abate­ment of about 1800 tonnes of car­bon diox­ide per year and save the City about $530,000 per year in util­ity costs,” he said.

The geothermal drill be­ing used in Scarborough.

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