Partnership to pioneer geothermal energy

This case study shows how the team at Burges Salmon helped Eden Geothermal to secure funding to bring its geothermal project to life

01 November 2021

The summary

Eden Geothermal was set up by three partners: Eden Project, EGS Energy Ltd, and Bestec (UK) Ltd to unlock the geothermal energy deep in the granite beneath Cornwall by drilling a 5km deep well at the Eden Project.

Burges Salmon acted as legal advisors on the debt financing for this landmark project after Eden Geothermal secured funding of £9.9m from the European Regional Development Fund, alongside £1.4m from Cornwall Council and £6.5m from GCP Infrastructure Investments, an investment trust advised by Gravis Capital Management (Gravis). Following the initial investment, we have continued to advise across all elements of the project.

Why us?

Our multi-disciplinary team has been involved in the project since 2018, alongside our long-standing client Gravis. We played a key role in structuring and negotiating bespoke arrangements with the government to unlock the public funding for this project and have advised across due diligence, land arrangements, project documentation and construction contracts. Victoria Allsopp, a partner in our Banking and Finance team  is a specialist working in the energy and infrastructure sector and played a crucial role alongside her colleagues Ross Fairley, Energy partner and Lauren Luscombe senior Construction associate, making this a real team effort.

Gus Grand, director Eden Geothermal says: “We are really delighted with the support from the team at Burges Salmon. This has been a long and involved project and Victoria and her colleagues have been terrific to work with. I can honestly say without their support phase one would not have happened. It has been a complex project which has presented many challenges, but Burges Salmon were quick to react, and we benefited hugely from the breadth of experience within the firm which meant we were able to use one law firm for the contracting side of the project. This is an exciting project for us and the potential for Cornwall and Net Zero is huge.”

Victoria Allsopp, partner in the Banking and Finance team at Burges Salmon adds: “We supported Eden Geothermal through the lifecycle of this project, liaising with government officials and Gravis to unlock the required funding to bring this project to life. Working with my colleagues we have brought value and made a real difference through our strategic advice and extensive industry insight. We are extremely proud to have supported Eden Geothermal reach a milestone which has enabled them to start drilling.”

The outcome

By unlocking the public funding and financing from Gravis, Eden Geothermal has been able to commence drilling of an initial 5km well to supply a district heating system for Eden’s Biomes, offices, and greenhouses, alongside a research programme to prove the extent of the resource in the granite below the Eden site. If successful it paves the way for the second phase – another 5km well and an electricity plant which would allow Eden to become carbon positive by 2024.

Key contact

Victoria Allsopp

Victoria Allsopp Partner

  • Banking and Finance
  • Renewables
  • Energy, Power and Utilities

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