Since 2013, in Kirchweidach (Germany) vegetables are produced sustainably and residents are supplied with renewable heat and electricity based on deep geothermal energy.
Location: Kirchweidach, Germany
Operator: GeoEnergie Kirchweidach GmbH
Project: District heating network based on deep geothermal
Jobs created: 150
This project is a unique flagship in terms of sustainability and environmental heat utilisation strengthening the regional economy and location of the municipality in many ways.
The biggest customer of the geothermal heat is a vegetable growing company using a 12 hectare large green house, cultivating regional peppers and tomatoes. The vegetable production is completely CO2 free. Compared to “conventionally produced” tomatoes from Spain or the Netherlands, the company saves approximately 6.5 million litres of fuel oil and 21.5 million kg of CO2. In addition, a power generation plant is still under construction. The complete project will enable the connection of further 300 households to the local district heating network. The positive response of the citizens and the high acceptance of the district heating network, comprising very low connecting and operating costs, give benefit to each household in the community. If there is a default, the supply is ensured by two fuel oil fired hot water boilers and a reserve heat storage with more than 3,400 m3. The thermal water passes the process twice, what results in an efficient and inexpensive system. In addition, a neighbouring biogas plant is connected.
The district heating project in Kirchweidach won a 2015 Global District Energy Climate Award. You can read the full case study.