Níjar, Almeria

Spain: Geothermal deposit for greenhouse air-conditioning discovered

The company Cardial has reported the discovery of a geothermal deposit at 490 metre depth in the fields of Níjar, in the Spanish province of Almeria.

The firm, which is promoting a project for greenhouse air-conditioning in Níjar using geothermal energy, has reported in a note that the deposit has an average temperature of 41.8 °C, an increasing gradient of 8.87 °C per 100 metres and an average flow of 22.72 litres per second.

The data, certified by a company collaborating with the public administration, will allow for the first geothermal plant to start being built in Almeria next August. The company in charge of extraction will be Sacyr Industrial.

Cardial's first module will make it possible to meet an initial demand of about 24 hectares, but with a second survey, this capacity could double almost without having to expand the facilities.

The initial development plans foresee the construction of three plants in just two years, and a much faster development from that point onwards, depending on the success of the first models.

The model proposed by Cardial, to which numerous producers have already signed up (with sufficient energy needs to cover the first three plants), consists in extracting hot water from the Níjar reservoir, recirculating it through a network that will transport it to the greenhouses and return it again to the deposit, so that it regains its heat, creating a closed circuit that makes the resource inexhaustible. These waters, which stay at such high temperatures (about 100 degrees Celsius at the 1,000 metre depth they intend to reach), are not suitable for irrigation because of the enormous concentration of salt and other elements that make it unviable in that field, but, which make them exceptionally suitable to power a more ecological energy model that can be applied to Almeria's horticultural production, competing in price with other energy sources such as gas, biomass and other fuels.


Source: EFE

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