The canton of Jura signs an agreement to start the Haute-Sorne geothermal project

Glovelier, Jura/ Switzerland (source: Geo-Energie Suisse)

The new agreement which marks the start of the Haute-Sorne project in the canton of Jura, Switzerland, contains provisions to address the various concerns previously raised about the project.

The Canton of Jura, Geo-Energie Suisse and Geo-Energie Jura have signed a new agreement to start the pioneering geothermal project in Haute-Sorne, Switzerland. This agreement comes after the concerns relayed by the Jura State, as we have previously reported, have been taken into consideration.

Once successfully commissioned, the Jura geothermal power plant will have a planned capacity of 5 MW. This will generate added value for the local and regional economy and contribute to the implementation of Switzerland’s 2050 energy strategy.

Peter Meier, CEO of Geo-Energie Suisse SA, is very satisfied “that it was possible to develop good solutions that meet the additional security requirements of the canton of Jura”.

The agreement between the three parties includes additional security conditions required by the cantonal government as well as seismic monitoring of the project by a group of independent experts. It may be recalled that two geothermal projects have been halted in Switzerland due to concerns about seismic activity.

A campaign of geophysical measurements will be carried out simultaneously with exploration drilling and stimulation tests. The data collected at each stage of the project will be taken into account in making the decision to drill a second well, stimulate the underground and build the geothermal power plant.

The experiments of Geo-Energie Suisse on multi-stage stimulation in the ETHZ underground laboratory in Bedretto, as well as the knowledge acquired within the framework of the Utah FORGE project, will be integrated into the planning of the Haute-Sorne project.

“The Haute-Sorne pilot project should make it possible to produce renewable, CO2-free energy using stimulated geothermal systems,” explains Peter Meier, CEO of Geo-Energie Suisse. “It is central and justified to put safety at the forefront of the project for the inhabitants of Haute-Sorne and for geothermal projects to move forward elsewhere in Switzerland.”

Public opinion of the Haute-Sorne geothermal project had previously been hurt by various misinformation. Aware of this history, Geo-Energie Suisse and Geo-Energie Jura now favor transparency of information and dialogue with the local population. A monitoring and information commission will be set up by the canton which will bring together representatives of the canton, the municipality, the project company, the population, the associations concerned and the Confederation.

Emphasis will be placed on the clear explanation of the different stages of the project, their respective objectives, the potential risks involved and the measures to mitigate said risks. A patronage committee will also be set up with representatives of the Confederation and the canton which will strengthen the national scope of the project and underline its importance for the future of sustainable energy in Switzerland.

Source: Geo Energy Switzerland

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