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10:00, 11th March 2017

Underground mine water could heat 1,000 Bridgend homes

Water from underground mines could be used to provide cheaper heat for almost 1,000 homes in Bridgend county.

Bridgend council is investigating whether disused mines in Caerau, Llynfi Valley, could offer a geothermal source of energy.

The plans, which are in the early stages, would see water pumped through a network of pipes to heat homes.

Councillor Ceri Reeves said the potential benefit of the project "was huge".

The county council is conducting a feasibility study into the scheme which, it said, could be rolled out further afield if it gets the go-ahead.

Under the plans, water filling the mines, with an average temperature of 10-14 degrees Centigrade, could be transported to properties through a pipe link, similar to that at the incinerator at Splott.

The heat would then be extracted and used in radiators. No mine water would enter residents' homes, under the council's plans.

A second study is looking at using steam from the proposed Llynfi Valley Biomass Power Station to create a "heat network" to to replace gas boilers in up to 10,000 homes.

The studies come after a £67,000 grant from the UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Ms Reeves said: "The council has commissioned a detailed ground condition survey to ascertain whether the water held in the mine workings under Caerau provides a natural heat source which could provide safe, continuous, and cost effective heat for a large number of local homes."

Originally published at BBC.co.uk