Glenelg Shire to vote on a geothermal revival

PORTLAND’S dormant geothermal network could be revived if Glenelg Shire councillors pass a vote tonight to drill a new bore tapping into reserves of super-heated water. 

For more than a decade, pipes running through the city centre warmed buildings using geothermal heated water pumped from a bore at Henty Park.

But the system was shut down in 2006 when engineers found it was on the verge of failure. 

Councillors will tonight debate whether or not to build a new bore that would be “entirely owned and managed by Glenelg Shire”. 

Wannon Water is constructing a new bore at Wyatt Street, but given the distance from the CBD, connecting it to the geothermal loop would be too costly.

Replacing the existing pipe network in the city centre could cost around $69,037 while council does not yet have a total cost for the project. 

Wannon Water general manager Grant Green said the authority was happy to work with the council on the Wyatt Street bore. 

“We had a meeting with managers from council and we informed council of our intention to replace the Wyatt Street bore, which is the back-up of the water supply for Portland,” Mr Green said.

“We indicated if council had interest in accessing the heat from that bore we’d be happy to work in with them.

“The action is with council, but we’re happy to work in with them if they want access from our new bore.” 

Glenelg Shire has placed aside $150,000 in its last budget for the Portland geothermal heating redevelopment project. 

Meanwhile, councillors will also debate tonight: 

n a proposed international exchange with the Chinese city of Zhangjiagang later this year; 

n final concept designs for a new Portland skate park and youth activities space; 

n plans to build a cover over the grids and pits at Yarraman Park go-karts.

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