Moulins de Pantin, and Ourcq canal, in Pantin, Seine-Saint-Denis, France (source: flickr/ Benh LIEU SONG, creative commons)

Three municipalities in Île-de-France are joining forces around a geothermal district heating project to launch drilling in 2023.

Last month, three municipalities and an inter-municipal syndicate launched geothermal heating plans in mid-February 2022. The local public company will orchestrate the establishment of a geothermal district heating network, as beneficial for the planet as for the purchasing power of its beneficiaries, as the elected officials have pointed out. The communes are located in the North/North-East of Paris.

Geothermal energy allows heating by drawing water whose temperature varies between 60 and 80 degrees C, by exploiting the energy of the Dogger, located between 1,500 and 2,000 m deep. Renewable and carbon-free energy since the water drilled in this way is then returned to the groundwater where it comes from. And, last but not least, geothermal energy reduces household energy bills estimated at 25%.

Bertrand Kern, Lionel Benharous and Laurent Baron, respectively mayors of Pantin, Lilas and Pré Saint-Gervais (Seine-Saint-Denis), just like Jacques JP Martin, the president of the Intermunicipal Syndicate of the Parisian periphery of energies and networks of communication (Sipperec), did not fail to underline that this initiative was as good for the planet as for its direct beneficiaries. At a time when the ecological transition is essential and when the cost of energy is exploding.

The three municipalities and Sipperec, whose sustainable development is one of the essential missions, are shareholders of the local public company which has just been created to implement this network (to the tune of 1.5 million euros for Sipperec, 600,000 euros for Pantin, 200,000 for Les Lilas and the same for Le Pré-Saint-Gervais).

4 geothermal wells

Sipperec will allocate a public service delegation to the local public company Unigéo created for the occasion and chaired by Samuel Besnard, vice-president of Sipperec and deputy mayor of Cachan. Then, next April, Unigeo will initiate the process of designating an operator to drill four geothermal wells, announced for 2023 near the sports area of ​​the future located on avenue Jean-Jaurès in Les Lilas.

20,000 social housing and public buildings will benefit as a priority from this 20 km network which should make it possible to avoid the emission of 28,000 tonnes of CO2, ie the equivalent of the annual emissions of 19,000 cars.

The local elected representatives unanimously hailed the exemplary nature of the approach, judging it emblematic of an inter-municipality that makes it possible to do more and better than if the municipalities were each working on their own. “While heat represents nearly 50% of our energy consumption and is based on nearly 60% of imported fossil fuels and high CO2 emitters, geothermal energy is a local response to climate issues and energy independence”, say the promoters of this project supported by EPT Est Ensemble and Ademe.

Soure: The Journal of Greater Paris