The geothermal plant in Kirchweidach, Bavaria, will in future not only generate heat but also green electricity. To fully exploit the energy potential of deep heat, E.ON plans to build several small-scale power plants with a total capacity of around 6 megawatts. The investment volume for the first phase of the project is €7.5 million. E.ON will operate the plant for 15 years.
The thermal water in southeastern Bavaria has a temperature of 121 degrees Celsius and is produced from 4000 meters of borehole depth. The operating company, FG Geothermie, is currently feeding the heat into the local district heating network and supplying a major customer who grows vegetables.
So far, only part of the available heat is used for the heat consumers. The challenge is to expand the plant in a way that CO2-free base-load electricity can be generated economically. To do this, E.ON is using so-called ORC modules from its partner Orcan Energy. The technology from waste heat recovery converts heat into electricity in a highly efficient way. With this principle, 4000 tons of CO2 are saved annually, which corresponds to the emissions of 2700 terraced houses.
Construction will take place in two phases. In the first phase, a capacity of one megawatt will be installed. On completion at the end of 2021, the construction of a large-scale ORC plant and a combined heat and power plant is planned.
“The Kirchweidach geothermal energy project proves how efficiently we can use heat for electricity supply today. There is also still great waste heat potential in industry. We can tap this potential for a CO2-free power supply for industry,” says Alexander Fenzl, Country Head B2B Solutions Germany at E.ON Business Solutions.
“In cooperation with E.ON, we can fully exploit the heat potential of our geothermal plant and generate green electricity economically. Kirchweidach confirms its role as a location of the future. It's good that we have E.ON as a long-term partner at our side,” says Wolfgang Hageleit, Managing Director of FG Geothermie in Kirchweidach.