Cornwall exports geothermal expertise

Mimer Energy CEO Brian Kennelly

Mimer Energy CEO Brian Kennelly

Cornish expertise in geothermal technology is set to be exported around the world with the launch of a new energy development company. 

Mimer Energy Limited has been created through the merger of the technical team behind the former ground source heat pump business

EarthEnergy in Falmouth, and Swedish geothermal company Mimer Energy.

The new business has its headquarters in Falmouth and is headed by group chief executive Brian Kennelly, former EarthEnergy managing director and current chairman of the UK’s Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

Heat pumps extract naturally occurring heat from underground to heat buildings, or can work in reverse to pass heat into the ground and cool a building. They achieve a 50% carbon saving over fossil fuels, and up to a 30% cost saving.

Mimer Energy aims to become a global player in zero-carbon energy by helping communities, companies and public bodies build their own geothermal heating and cooling systems.

The Mimer team has a track record of 2,000 ground source heat pump installations connected to more than 250 kilometres of boreholes. Current projects include designing geothermal systems for a new Land Securities building in London, and for a number of new buildings for Oxford University.

Brian said: “What we bring to the market is a fully financed delivery model for ground source energy projects, whether the client is a local authority, health trust, business or a community in a developing country.

“Key to our business is setting up a joint venture company with the client to create micro-utilities that ultimately become self-sufficient and independent. We use our expertise and track record to attract capital funding to build installations that we operate for an agreed time, after which customers have the option to take them over.

“We aim to reach out globally, to transfer our knowledge, skills and expertise to regional partner companies established with local ownership, helping to generate high value employment within the customer communities.

“This is a scalable and ethical model that we want to export worldwide, underpinned by our team’s experience of delivering robust, reliable geothermal heating and cooling systems.”

He added: “It used to be said that if you looked down any mine in the world you would find a Cornishman at the bottom. We want the same to be true for geothermal energy.”

Brian said geothermal energy remained an attractive option for investors given the predictability of long term revenue streams and in the UK he said the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, once launched, would give investors added security.

He said: “The first phase of the RHI will give investors long-term tariff support and be aimed at the big heat users including industry, business and the public sector.

“That’s a huge opportunity and clients will benefit from much reduced energy costs and investors will still get an attractive return.”

As well as the UK and Swedish markets, Mimer Energy is looking at opportunities in North America, where it has established a subsidiary, and in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Brian is a graduate of the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall from the era of the original Hot Dry Rock (HDR) project, and his career has included 10 years of utilities infrastructure project management and eightyears in the geothermal industry.