MUNICH: The heating plant in Munich's southern Sendling neighbourhood has been running on gas for more than a century, often imported from far away.
The hot waters from deep underground the station are what provide the energy.
A boxy new geothermal unit is surrounded by a tangle of pipes, and is tacked on to the side of the original 19th-century red-brick plant.
The work on the new installation started in 2016 and opened in 2021, before Russia launched its assault on Ukraine and shut the pipelines to Europe.
The timely opening of the modern unit, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, is a happy coincidence for the city, which like the rest of the country is facing the challenge of making up for lost Russian gas supplies.
Munich will invest $1 billion US $1.1 billion in the next 2035 to develop the geothermal energy and make the city's heating carbon neutral.
Christian Peltl, the director of geothermal energy at SWR, says we're sitting on a gold mine.
Peltl says Munich is the perfect geological location in a region known for its thermal baths.
In Europe, interest in geothermal projects has grown as officials try to decarbonise their energy systems.