Wales

Renewable energy: Warm spring water could heat school

Taff's Well thermal spring Image copyright Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC
Image caption The 19th Century attraction fell out of use in the 1950s

Wales' only natural thermal spring could be used to heat a school and park pavilion, cutting use of fossil fuels.

The Taff's Well spring, near Cardiff, has water running constantly at 21C (70F).

Consultants say it could fully supply the Taff's Well Park Pavilion, and partly heat Ffynnon Taf Primary School.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council leaders are being asked to approve a scheme costing up to £300,000, with the prospect of expanding it over a wider area.

The thermal spring emerges on the eastern bank of the River Taff and is believed to have attracted the Romans two thousand years ago.

Image copyright Jaggery
Image caption Attention has now turned to the site's potential as a source of clean energy

It was popular in the 19th Century for its reputed healing properties, but the brick-lined well inside a Grade II-listed building has fallen into disrepair.

However, councillors on a climate change committee are now looking at using the waters as a source of power, potentially saving 37 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A report says using the spring with a water source heat pump could replace the electric heating in the Taff's Well Park Pavilion - currently used as a creche - and could replace or be integrated with the gas-fired system at Ffynnon Taf Primary School.

Cabinet members are being asked to fund a project to be completed by March 2021 as part of the authority's commitments to carbon reduction.

Consultants have said there is more than sufficient heat in the spring to meet demand from the school and pavilion, offering the prospect of developing a small heating network in the future.

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