Seeking New Energy, a Cornish Town Digs Deep…

Date Posted: Oct 7th 2019

It was never an ordinary swimming pool. Built in 1935 to celebrate the anniversary of a king, the Jubilee Pool is filled with more than a million gallons of seawater, making it one of the United Kingdom’s largest lidos, as the public outdoor swimming areas are called.

Five years ago, though, the Art Deco pool was run down after decades of neglect and a major winter storm that struck the southwestern English coast in 2014.

Now it’s tapping an energy source that its creators hope will give new life to the county of Cornwall. By next year, despite some snags, the pool is expected to be available year-round, and a new geothermal plant nearby could provide a fresh source of electricity for a region that has suffered economic decline.

Cornwall has a major advantage when it comes to alternative energy production: It sits atop a 280-million-year-old granite mass known as the Cornubian batholith, which is geologically ideal for producing geothermal energy.