Scientists believe a labyrinth of disused mines underneath Glasgow could hold the key to heating the city’s homes in the future. Plans are being put in place to examine a vast reservoir of warm water that fills the mines and rock layers underneath the city in the hope of harnessing the natural heat store. If the £9 million project proves successful, it could be rolled out in other towns and cities across Britain as the UK bids to become less reliant on fossil fuels. Professor Michael Stephenson, director of science of the British Geological Survey (BGS), which is funding the project, said: “The rocks below Glasgow are crisscrossed with tunnels that were hewed into the rock by coalminers in the 19th and 20th century. “Eastern Glasgow was once the location of some of Scotland’s busiest mines. These old, long-abandoned tunnels should n ow be allowing water to flow freely beneath the city.” Scientists will initially drill narrow boreholes into the mines and use instruments to monitor temperature, seismic activity, water flow, acidity and other variables to establish the state of the water in the rocks below the city. Because the reservoir is now linked by the tunnels, engineers believe they will not have to worry that the subterranean water will dry up at an individual location when they drill a borehole. The aim of this first stage will be to establish whether this warm water can be extracted for long periods to heat Glaswegian homes.
Herald 10th March 2018 read more »