In line with the innovative character of the ATELIER project, the development of the geothermal ring in Zorrotzaurre constitutes a significant and unprecedented advance in the thermal energy supply of the city of Bilbao.

The geothermal system is expected to cover the demand of the island of Zorrotzaurre. In the scope of the ATELIER project, three areas have been proposed as PEDs: Intervention I in North Area, Intervention II in Centre Area, and Intervention III in South Area. The geothermal energy network, specifically shallow geothermal systems, will enable this consideration. This network is a thermal energy supply grid that uses water as a carrier medium and will be connected with the distributed water source heat pumps installed at the customer substations to cover both, heating and cooling demands of the buildings.

The design and dimensioning of the boreholes that will supply energy to the buildings of the island has been conducted by Telur, which has an extensive experience in groundwater and geothermal energy research. The partnership of the City of Bilbao with Telur is essential for the successful development of the project.

Regarding the city’s vision, given that there is a high functioning electricity network in the city, Bilbao has the ambition to replicate the geothermal or hydrothermal model in other areas and use the electricity grid as a “thermal infrastructure”.