Geothermal cogeneration projects

Strasbourg and its urban community, located in the Alsace region in North-Eastern France, have access to a deep geothermal natural reservoir. The “Eurométropole de Strasbourg” commissioned studies on renewable energies potentials in 2012, which confirmed its deep geothermal potential.

Following the studies commissioned by the city, two licenses to explore Strasbourg’s subsoil were given the companies Électricité de Strasbourg, for a project in Illkirch-Graffenstaden and Fonroche, for projects in Eckbolsheim and Vendenheim. The projects started in 2015-2016 and works are expected to be completed by 2019.

Impact & Next steps

According to some of the studies conducted, the geothermal water could reach a temperature of 150° C at 3,000 m under the ground. The local district heating could then have 80% of its heat coming from renewable energy sources (enough to supply over 4000 households). The Eckbolsheim and Vendenheim (Fonroche) projects will build CHP plants to provide heat for the companies which will settle on the future Rhenish eco-park, for agricultural greenhouses (up to 70 ha) as well as for each plant to provide heat for up to 26000 households and electricity to 7000 households.

The Illkirch geothermal project is located on the site of the PII (Illkirch Innovation Center). The goal is to generate electricity and heat the customers close to the area by 2019.

Replicability: Challenges & Success Factors

On top of contributing to the Métropole being perceived as a pioneer at national and international levels, the project also contributes to the local authority’s objectives of cutting its GHG emissions by 30% and increasing its renewable energy production by 30% by 2020, as per the commitment it took when joining the Covenant of Mayors back in 2009. Additionally, the urban community acts as a planning body for all deep geothermal projects on its territory, and fosters synergies between the various stakeholders: universities and engineering schools that offer degrees in geothermal project management, research laboratories which monitor the three projects’ seismological activities and companies.