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Mijnwater BV


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
The independent company Mijnwater B.V. (established in 2013) has the ambition to further develop the project in the municipality of Heerlen to become a fully renewable energy company. Mijnwater B.V. hopes to be able to supply approximately 800,000 m2 of indoor space (homes and offices) with mine water energy by the first quarter of 2016. With this endeavour Mijnwater B.V. contributes to a 65% reduction of CO2 emissions for the heating and cooling of the connected properties in the region.

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 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.

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