Vulcan Energy inks 20-year geothermal energy supply deal with Germany’s MVV

Vulcan Energy inks 20-year geothermal energy supply deal with Germany’s MVV
Mining News Pro - Vulcan Energy has signed a deal with Germany’s fifth biggest utility firm MVV Energy for at least 240 gigawatt hours per year of geothermal energy starting in 2025, the company said on Tuesday.

Under the agreement, valid for twenty years, Vulcan Energy will provide up to 350 gigawatt hours of energy per year – enough to supply around 25,000 households – from geothermal wells in the area around the city of Mannheim, transferring heat via grids and underground pipes to local buildings.

“Geothermal renewable energy on a mass scale combined with lithium extraction from the same geothermal source can and will play an important part in achieving Europe and Germany’s energy security and independence,” Vulcan’s managing director Francis Wedin said in a statement.

Vulcan Energy, which is listed both in Australia and Frankfurt, has obtained licences for more than 1,000 kilometres of land in southwest Germany where it plans to extract super-hot lithium-rich brine from underground reservoirs, using the heat to produce electricity and extracting lithium from the brine.

The company has signed contracts with automakers Volkswagen, Stellantis and Renault as well as Umicore and LG Chem’s battery unit LG Energy to supply up to a combined total of 282,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide over five to six-year terms.

Geothermal power has the advantage of being more stable than weather-dependent renewables, but has not seen equivalent growth or investment to wind and solar in the region in part due to high upfront costs and complex licensing processes for drilling.

Innargi, founded by the holding company behind shipping giant Maersk, signed a deal in January for a geothermal plant in Denmark which it said could provide 20% of the country’s second biggest city Aaarhus’ heating demand starting in 2029.

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