Spain: 14 ha greenhouse to get geothermal plant

Once the concession has been granted, which will have a validity period of 30 years, the company based in the Almería Scientific-Technological Park (PITA) Cardial plans to begin work on the start-up of the first geothermal power plant

Cardial, which is partly owned by the Cyopsa public works group from Camilo Alcala, saw its dream of exploiting a hot water reservoir in Níjar to use it to heat greenhouses come true. This project, which has been in the works for several years, was green-lighted by the Minister of Finance, Juan Bravo, who gave the company a thirty-year concession of this geothermal natural resource.

According to the manager of the company, Carlos Diaz, this water, which emerges from a depth of 1,200 meters and has an average temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, will allow meeting an initial demand of 14 hectares of greenhouse crops and later on doubling that capacity.

The concession for exploitation of geothermal resources is established on an area of 15 mining grids – equivalent to 457.29 hectares in the municipality of Níjar. It will be used to heat greenhouses with this type of energy that does not generate emissions, waste, or other environmental damages.

The company will invest more than 4 million euro in this project, which will not only generate employment in the plant’s construction, management, and maintenance, but will also bring other benefits, as it will provide the crops with clean energy, without emissions of any kind, and will allow extending the agricultural campaign. The company’s initial plan includes the construction of three plants in just two years.

The resource was surfaced by Cardial in 2017, in collaboration with the University of Almeria. The water, which is not conventionally used due to the mineral salt composition of the subsoil, is naturally heated. Resource management consists of a closed cycle that returns the water that is extracted to the reservoir once its heat energy is used, thus restarting the natural process.

However, the use of thermal energy through heat exchanger plants will also allow cooling the greenhouses in the hottest months of the year, so this solution isn’t only limited to the winter months.

A decade has passed since Cardial began to manage the feasibility of using geothermal energy in the area of Los Tristanes in Nijar. Initially, they even thought about the possibility of producing electricity with this source of clean energy.

There were numerous studies and research surveys confirming the existence of a geothermal site in the region’s volcanic area. Most of the countries that have geothermal catalogs, such as the United States, the Philippines, Kenya, Iceland, and New Zealand, have endeavored in recent years to take advantage of this clean, low-cost, and sustainable energy.