In the fall of 2013, another lighthouse investment began in Szeged when the conversion of 11, mostly university- and city-owned institutions to environmentally friendly, geothermal energy heating started with the construction of a cascaded system commonly referred to as the “clinical thermal circuit”. The construction and subsequent operation of the system is carried out by Geothermal Service Ltd., which sells the extracted geothermal energy to the University of Szeged and the other end-users. The heat market survey, hydrogeological planning, cost-benefit analysis as well as the successful application process for EU funding were carried out by InnoGeo Ltd.
The project supplies the New-Szeged buildings of the University of Szeged, 4 municipal buildings and 2 state-owned buildings, with geothermal energy. The project included the construction of 3 thermal wells (1 production and 2 injection wells), 3.1 km district heating pipelines and 12 heating centres, equipped with a state-of-the-art optical network and SCADA control and display system. The 4.5 MW renewable heat capacity cascaded system produces about 37,000 GJ of heat per year, thus substituting 1.3 million m3 of natural gas per year. In addition, it will achieve an emission-reduction of 2,343 tonnes CO2 / year, or, 70,000 tonnes of CO2 over the planned 30-year service life. The energy cost savings in the relevant university and city institutions are HUF 60 million (170,000 EUR) per year. The total net cost of the construction of the system was HUF 1,254,250,000 (3.5M EUR). The investor Geothermal Service Ltd. received HUF 596,646,725 (1.7M EUR) EU funding.