KP Holland is one of the thirty growers who have signed an agreement to participate in the geothermal project Trias Westland. If the drilling is successful, all the participating growers will get a connection to the geothermal energy coming from the Triassic layer, at a depth of 4 kilometres. This geothermal project for horticulture will be unique in the world.

In the past months, 65 companies have expressed interest and thirty growers have already committed themselves to this sustainable initiative. The total power for which the letters of intent were signed currently amounts to about 60 MW. One of the companies is KP Holland, a horticultural business in Westland that sees sustainability as one of its core values. A sustainable energy supply for the family business is therefore a logical step. KP Holland is a global supplier of young and flowering plants of Kalanchoe, Spathiphyllum and Curcuma.

According to Roy van der Knaap, manager of energy and technology, geothermal energy is one of the few alternatives to fossil fuels. The stock of fossil fuels is limited, it is bad for the climate and with the current global developments the delivery can sometimes be uncertain. “The project Trias Westland fits well with our company and philosophy. We embraced it wholeheartedly and full of enthusiasm.”

Ceiling price

The participants will be closely involved in the development of the project and will become co-owner without having to invest themselves. The price that is paid by the participants is based on actual costs, including a reasonable compensation for the risk capital of the founders of the project. The fact that there is a ‘ceiling price’ offers more security for the participants.

According to the director of Trias Westland, Marco van Soerland, not all growers who have shown interest have signed the actual agreement. “Those who have not signed, may not be able to because they are in between two other geothermal energy initiatives and are forced to wait. But there was a lot of interest in the project and there still is now. “Van Soerland expects that the negotiations with all the parties will be finished in April.

New participants are still welcome, but speed is of the essence. “Applications can continue, but we will start shortly with the development of the different scenarios and therefore it is necessary that we know exactly who wants to join.” Only after the exploratory drilling it will be clear how much heat will become available.

Combined drilling

In order to limit the (financial) risks of the exploratory drilling, a combined drilling is done. This means that first they will drill to the Lower Cretaceous-layer at a depth of 2 to 3 km. After examination of this layer they will continue to drill to the Triassic layer at a depth of 4 km. If the Triassic layer is unexpectedly found to be unsuitable for the extraction of geothermal energy, a Lower Cretaceous doublet will be realised. In which case, the purpose of the exploratory drilling – determining the suitability of the Triassic layer – is achieved, costs are reduced and a profitable Lower Cretaceous project will be realised.

If the Triassic layer is suitable, 30 to 50 growers can be connected to the geothermal heat source. If that is not the case, a Lower Cretaceous project will be realized and approximately 20 to 30 growers could make use of geothermal energy. In both scenarios, the most economical connections are realised first. Growers who are closest to the drilling site and whose neighbours have also joined the project have the best chances.

Source: Trias Westland. Photo: Mario Bentvelsen.