ADP launches geothermal project to provide Paris-Orly airport with renewable energy heating
(graphic: Aéroports de Paris)
Thu 17 Apr 2008 – The operator of Paris-Orly airport, Aéroports de Paris (ADP), has agreed an 11 million euro ($17.5m) project to build a geothermal station that will provide the airport with up to a third of its total heating needs. The airport is situated on a hot water table where the water temperature reaches 74 degrees C at a depth of 1,700 metres. Not only is geothermal energy efficient, it is environmentally clean and cost effective.
According to initial estimates, it should be possible to operate a flow of close to 250m3/h and save around 40GWh of gas, which would avoid some 7,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
“This is the first time that an airport in Europe is intending the massive use of renewable energy,” said Pierre Graff, Chairman and CEO of ADP. “This geothermal project should enable us to save around 3,600 tonnes of fossil fuel a year and reduce our CO2 emissions by approximately 7,000 tonnes. It is an appropriate decision from an environment point of view as well as being economically sound.”
The station is expected to be operational from 2010 and the energy produced will be in addition to the airport’s current heating system and is expected to supply the Orly-Ouest terminal, part of Orly-South, the airport’s Hilton Hotel and the Coeur d’Orly business centre project.
Two shafts will be driven 1,700 metres underground to a hot water acquifer. Drawn upwards by natural pressure through one of them, the water reaches the station at 74 degrees C and is then fed through the existing power station to the airport’s heating system before returning into the ground at a temperature of 44 degrees C (see diagram).
Geothermal simply means “Earth’s heat”. The centre of the Earth reaches temperatures of about 5,500 degrees C at the core, just over 6,500km below the crust, which is about as hot as the surface of the sun. Even the upper three metres of the Earth’s surface stay at a near-constant 10-16C throughout the year. By using geothermal energy, no fossil fuel burning is required and geothermal power plants emit only excess steam and very few trace gases.
Meanwhile, across the city at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, the automatic metro, CDGVAL, has just celebrated its first year of operation by notching up a total of 10 million transported passengers, an average of 25,000 per day. Linking the three terminals, the RER and TGV stations, and the car parks, CDGVAL is entirely electrically operated and emission-free. It has replaced practically all the shuttle buses operating at the airport, which has saved 750 tonnes of annual diesel oil consumption, thereby eliminating 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 15 tonnes of nitrogen dioxide.
CDGVAL was recently awarded the ‘Green Label’ for meeting the ISO 14001 international standard and complying with environmental regulations.