Vienna building geothermal plant to heat 20,000 homes


Vienna is planning to build a geothermal cogeneration plant with an output of 20 megawatts that will provide heating to about 20,000 households.

Headed by Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig, the city noted that construction is to start next year and finish in 2026, pointing out that the project is worth approximately EUR 80 million.

City councillor for public utilities Peter Hanke pointed out that use of geothermal energy is in line with Vienna’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2040. He stressed that the plant will provide Vienna with green energy and heating, but noted that the project is technically demanding.

Several boreholes more than 3 kilometres deep will be dug as part of the project to tap the thermal water underneath Vienna.

One borehole will be used to pump hot water to the surface, where it will be used to generate electricity and heat water in the district heating network. After the heat transfer, cooled water will be returned underground via a second borehole, creating a closed and sustainable cycle.

Wien Energie utility plans to build up to 4 geothermal plants in the period up to 2030, which would provide heating for up to 125,000 households.

The move can cut carbon emissions in the district heating system by roughly 20%, with city authorities announcing plans to continue building geothermal plants in the period after 2030.

According to plans, the district heating network in Vienna will become carbon neutral by 2040.