Since the partial completion of the power station on 14 May, it has operated for 16 days, all in all, with a consecutive period of 10 days until 21 June. The geothermal heat generated ensured pleasant temperatures in the VITO/SCK/Belgoprocess buildings. And in addition, there was heat left over to produce electricity. 
During the test run of the power station, the VITO seismometer network recorded 266 earthquakes. The force measured locally varied between -1.0 and 2.1 on the Richter scale. All earthquakes clustered around the injection point according to a NNW-SSE orientation.

The power station was shut down on 21 June due to a general power failure, after which a quake with a force of 2.1 occurred 2 days later. The rapid drop in pressure in the deep subsurface following the abrupt shutdown probably contributed to the quake. Since then, internal and external experts have carried out a great deal of research into the cause of the induced earthquakes. In order to avoid as much as possible such perceptible earthquakes in the future and to minimise the risk of the plant shutting down due to external factors, a number of technical modifications have been made to the installation.

For VITO, it is more clear than ever: scientific exploration has shown that the exploitation of deep geothermal energy is possible. The fact that large companies in the Kempen region today invest millions in similar geothermal projects is the best proof of this.


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