Use of minewater for geothermal & Heat/cold storage at Heerlen

Heerlen, The Netherlands
2006 - ongoing
Mijnwater BV.

The aim of the Minewater Project was to demonstrate how the geothermal energy stored by mine water can be used as a safe and ecological way to heat/to cool buildings. In Heerlen, a pilot was developed that aimed: to supply new, 'green' energy from old mines, to convert the old mining region into a pleasant environment to live in and to create new job opportunities, to find an environmental solution in place of an environmental problem; VITO was responsible to assess the capacity of the system by evaluating the geology and by developing the mine water reservoir model. In addition, VITO was involved in providing advice during the drilling of the 5 wells that targeted deep mine galleries. Currently, VITO is following up the reservoir that is also used for heat/cold storage.


Services provided by VITO:

  • Assessment of the heating and cooling potential of the former Oranje Nassau Mines
  • Water and heat transport modeling
  • Water quality evaluation
  • Reservoir development
  • Well site geology
  • Production testing and monitoring
  • Reservoir follow-up
  • Pumptest Analysis

Since 2009 VITO is responsible for the follow-up of the mine water project in Heerlen. The aim is to monitor the mine water system and to evaluate the long term behavior of the flooded underground working of the Oranje Nassau mines in the municipality of Heerlen (The Netherlands). Based on this information, the capacity of the former colliery as an energy source for the local heating and cooling network is progressively refined and the operation of the system is optimized.

  • Chemical and thermal monitoring of the reservoir
  • Flow and temperature modeling
  • Formulation of recommendations for improvements of the mine water systems