28 Mar 2024

Work Underway for Second Geothermal Heating Plant in Riehen, Switzerland

28 Mar 2024  by thinkgeoenergy   

Park at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/ Switzerland (source: flickr/ eager, creative commons)
Local heating operator Wärmeverbund Riehen AG (WVR) has announced that the results of detailed surface and subsurface investigations over the last several months support the expansion of geothermal heating in the municipality of Riehen in Switzerland by the construction of a second geothermal heating plant. A plot of land in the Grendelmattern area has now been identified as the ideal drilling location for geothermal wells to supply the proposed plant.

“We are pleased that the comprehensive investigations have been positive. This means we can move on to the next phase of drilling planning,” said Matthias Meier, Managing Director of WVR AG. The heating operator WVR AG is owned equally by the municipality of Riehen and the Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB).

Plans for the expansion for geothermal heating in Riehen or the “geo2riehen” project were first reported back in 2020 with the announcement of federal funding support for the project and the approval by the residents’ council of the municipality. In 2023, WVR announced that the results of a completed seismic survey supported the viability of a second geothermal heating plant. With this development, the renewable share of the heat production in Riehen will increase from an average of 55% to 80%.

Work is now being done for the approval of the project, as well as final clarifications on the subsurface data. The actual construction and drilling work expected to start in 2025-2026. WVR AG recognizes the planning uncertainties associated with a pioneering project like the “geo2riehen” and thus are taking a careful, step-by-step approach

WVR AG will be holding an information session for the local community on the progress of the “geo2riehen” project on the 18th of April 2024.

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