Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Barnsley's abandoned pits 'could be hot water source '

barnsle Image copyright Barnsley Council
Image caption Pithead structures were once a common sight in mining areas

Abandoned coal mines could provide an energy source for a town again under plans for a heat recovery system, a council has been told.

Residual heat from flood water inside the deep mine workings in Barnsley could be captured.

Plans are being investigated to see if it could provide environmentally-friendly hot water and electricity.

However, it could be about 18 months before it is known if the scheme will work.

The old workings, like many former Yorkshire coalfields, are deep below ground and flooded with water warmed by naturally-occurring heat from the earth.

The idea was revealed during a meeting on Barnsley Council's targets to reduce emissions, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Any scheme could make a contribution to Barnsley Council's target of carbon-neutral by 2040

Project manager George Lee said: "There is a lot of potential to take heat through a heat exchanger and we are doing work to look at the feasibility."

Councillor Jeff Ennis said Barnsley "was built on coal, built on mining and if we could use mines for heat there would be a certain elegance to that".

However, councillor Gill Carr said ground-source heat pumps had proved a disappointment for many housing developments tenants in the town.

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