Edinburgh Geobattery Project


Thomson Gray are working with the University of Edinburgh, TownRock Energy and Sweco alongside UK, EU and US partners on a research study at the University's Advanced Computing Facility.

The facility (ACF) is home to the national supercomputer - which is funded by the UK Government's Department of Science, Innovation and Technology - and is used for national climate modelling and health data modelling and currently releases up to 70 GWh of excess heat per year. 

We are providing quantity surveying and contract administration for the £2.6m feasibility study, which will examine how the water in old mine workings near the computing facility could be harnessed to heat people’s homes. 

The research will focus on the process of cooling of the supercomputers transferring the excess heat through cooling water into the mine water. The water would then be transported by natural ground waterflow in the mine workings. If successful, the study could provide a global blueprint for converting abandoned flooded coal, shale and mineral mine networks into underground heat storage.

Thomson Gray were involved in the original design and construction of the single-storey extension to the existing ACF to provide accommodation for the supercomputer. We were appointed to undertake full quantity surveying, employer’s agent and CDM co-ordinator services from the project’s inception to completion. 

In a later extension to the main project, our building surveying team provided NEC supervisor services during construction – ensuring the highest standards of quality management during delivery.

Project Video

Photograph of internal view of the University of Edinburgh's Advanced Computing Facility (ACF), which shows green technology units in the foreground and pipework in the background. The facility is home to the national supercomputer and used for research.
Photograph of empty and disused mine shaft with green tiles and lights on ceiling