Renewable energy can come in many forms, depending on geographical location, Source: Tommy Kwak / Unsplash

Romanian town starts geothermal project for district heating

Romanian town starts geothermal project for district heating

Sântana has only 11,000 residents, yet several municipal buildings will get connected to a renewable geothermal reservoir deep underground

This week, the Romanian town of Sântana announced a new project for using geothermal energy to heat public buildings. The project cost around 5.7 million euros and will supply the town hall, the 'Sfânta Ana' Secondary School and the 'Stefan Hell' Technological High School.

According to local Mayor Daniel Tomuţa, the old central heating system in these key public buildings will be cut off. He pointed out that this would allow the municipality to transition from fossil-fuelled district heating to more green and sustainable alternatives.

Drilling for water

The geothermal project in Sântana calls for the construction of a 1,200-metre-deep borehole for the extraction of naturally heated water. Additionally, it also requires the construction of 2.7 kilometres of pipes for transporting the water and 2.2 kilometres of pipes for energy distribution. When the water has made it through the heating cycle through municipal buildings, it will be injected back into the thermal reservoir to ensure reusability.  

Mayor Tomuţa explained that the project would bring considerable savings to the municipal budget and serve as a ‘step 1’ to a larger plan for implementing sustainable energy principles in the municipality.

Small-town energy transition

The mayor was quoted by AGERPRES explaining that depending on the size of the reservoir, the geothermal option for Sântana could be expanded to cover even more municipal buildings.

He added that the city has a chance to hit a huge thermal reservoir, which can be exploited under local regulations to accelerate the green energy transition.

Sântana is a relatively small municipality with only 11,000 residents, located in Romania’s North-Western Arad County. Nevertheless, it is the second one to start exploiting geothermal energy to meet local energy demands. The first city in the county is Pecica, which has a similar population of 12,000.

Here, geothermal well-drilling started in the autumn of 2022 with two wells and a relatively consistent water temperature of about 50 degrees Celsius. The project cost around 5 million euros, and the sourced water will heat 13 buildings from this autumn, already affecting the municipal budget in a positive way.



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