Plans for a new geothermal research field are to be unveiled next month in Scotland.

Two potential sites have been proposed in Glasgow for the field, which is a joint initiative of the Geoenergy Observatories Project led by the National Environmental Research Council (NERC) and the British Geological Survey (BGS).

The £9m ($12m) Glasgow Geothermal Energy Research Field Site is envisioned as a way to explore geothermal energy’s potential for heating local communities through the geothermal potential of warm water from the large number of defunct coal mines underneath Glasgow.  

“It may be possible to use that water for geothermal energy to heat homes and businesses,” BGS said.

To carry out the research, boreholes of varying depths would be drilled and temperature, water movement and water chemistry would be measured.  

The proposed project also includes plans for a second research site which would be based in England.

Prof John Ludden, BGS executive director, said the project “may create opportunities for the UK to lead the way in providing safe and sustainable energy for former mining communities around the world”.

BGS said it will host an event in early September to inform the public about the plans.