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Mijnwater BV

MINE WATER, BASIS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

Mine water, basis for renewable energy

After the closure of the coal mines in Heerlen and the surrounding area the mine passages filled with groundwater, which is heated by the earth naturally. The geothermal source under our feet remained untouched for decades until the municipality of Heerlen conducted a study in 2005 into the possibility of using water from the mines for heating and cooling buildings, homes, and offices. That had far-reaching positive consequences.

First connection in 2008
The renewable energy source has served as a heat source (for heating) and heat sink (for cooling) since 2008. The water, collected from five wells, is transported via an underground exchange station and pipe network and is currently supplied to six locations in Heerlen. Expansion continues, with the Maankwartier Heerlen district to be connected this year and Douve Weien/Caumerveld to follow soon thereafter. Mijnwater B.V. ensures that each location receives the required energy exactly when it is needed.

Full-fledged supplier of renewable energy
Mijnwater B.V. (founded in 2013) has the ambition to roll out the project of the municipality of Heerlen into a fully fledged sustainable energy company. With the sale of the Mijnwater shares by the municipality of Heerlen to Limburg Energy Fund (LEF) in 2018, Mijnwater can grow into a large energy company.

Louis Hiddes (director): “We have the knowledge to dismantle neighborhoods, both new and existing, from natural gas. This is already apparent in many homes, businesses and schools in the region. And we are going to expand to many more locations in Heerlen and the surrounding area. “

Although the foundation of the mine water system is underground, in the enormous corridors of abandoned mines, the technology has been developed in such a way that energy can be interchanged without directly using the ‘buffer’ underground. Mijnwater B.V. has now connected several large building complexes in Heerlen to mine water energy. 270 homes, various office buildings, (primary) schools, a daycare center, a sports hall and two supermarkets experience the comfort of mine water energy. With these (and future) connections Mijnwater B.V. provides an important contribution to the ambition of Parkstad Limburg to achieve a reduction of 65% CO2 emissions by 2040.

International recognition
Mijnwater B.V. is gaining more and more international renown for its innovative ‘demand-supply’ system, a system by which energy requirements can be accommodated on the basis of factors such as weather forecasts and customer demand. Along with other resources, such as solar energy (solar thermal and photovoltaic), wind energy, biomass energy, buffering, and a perfect control system, it is possible to generate an optimum yield. The hybrid pipe network transports the relatively warm and relatively cold water to the right place: where the customer needs it. Thanks to the continued development of the system, mine water energy is now an essential part of the municipality of Heerlen’s 2040 renewable energy master plan and has been included in the Parkstad Limburg Energy Transition (PALET) statement of ambition for the Parkstad Limburg region.

European Grants
Mijnwater B.V. is a partner in various European projects, such as Interreg NWE HeatNet, Interreg NWE D2Grids (lead partner), OPZuid, Horizon2020 (STORM) and Life4Heatrecovery.

European Geothermal Innovation Award 2015
In March 2015 Mijnwater B.V. received the ‘European Geothermal Innovation Award 2015’, an award that showcases excellence in development of the most intelligent applications of geothermal energy.

Click here for Minewater videos The team behind Mijnwater B.V. Elfwegentocht (Mijnwater starts at 3.30 minutes)

Current Minewater connections