Silixa, the global leading provider of fibre-optic distributed sensors and monitoring solutions, has been appointed by the British Geological Survey (BGS) to design and deliver Distributed Fibre Optic Systems at the UK Geoenergy Observatory in Cheshire.
The Cheshire Observatory, a world class science and research facility which will be operated by BGS on behalf on NERC/UKRI, is to be built at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park and will provide a wide range of geoenergy-related research opportunities over its planned 15-year lifetime. Scientists working in the field of subsurface energy storage will be testing innovative technologies, including borehole heat exchangers for heating and cooling of the subsurface as well as downhole sensors such as fiberoptics to help decarbonise our society.
The observatory will also provide researchers with opportunities to characterise and monitor micro- and macro-scale, in situ processes that are relevant to other geoenergy technologies such as hydrogen and CO2 storage.
Silixa will equip 20 boreholes with fiber optic cables to offer groundwater monitoring and hydraulic and geophysical characterisation by delivering real-time acoustic and temperature measurements.
Commenting, Glynn Williams, CEO of Silixa, says: “The Cheshire Observatory will be a global leader for those working in subsurface energy storage. The infrastructure of the site will provide a wide range of geoenergy related opportunities, which will play a vital component in reaching a net-zero future.
“As energy transition takes place across the globe, there is an enormous opportunity for small and medium-sized companies, not least in terms of job creation. It is estimated that the energy transition could create 26,000 jobs in the UK alone, giving British companies the chance to take advantage of the huge growth potential in this field. The Cheshire Observatory is leading the way and Silixa is delighted to be a part of it.”
Data and information generated during the construction and operation of the UK Geoenergy Observatories will be made freely available to the public and research community. It is to help scientists optimise the design and operation of subsurface energy storage and geothermal systems.