What is Geothermal Energy?


Gippsland has extensive, accessible and world class warm (<80 degrees Celsius) water sandstone aquifers, which are insulated by coal layers. 

Heated rocks and underground water bodies generate geothermal energy in one of two ways: 

  1. Using naturally occurring hot water from a hot sedimentary aquifer. 
  2. Generating super-heated water or steam by circulating fluid through hot rocks.

Some of Gippsland’s sandstone aquifers lie within the coal seams, and others lie beneath. The deepest aquifer is referred to as the ‘Lower Aquifer’. It underlies about 6,000 km2 of Gippsland and typically produces water temps in the range of 30-70 degrees. 

Accessing geothermal resources provides clean, sustainable and near zero emission energy. This energy can provide heating and cooling in public, commercial or agricultural situations. 

Case study: Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre, Traralgon​

The Gippsland Regional Aquatic Centre (GRAC) in Traralgon was officially opened in March 2020. It is the first aquatic centre in Victoria to utilise geothermal in a ‘closed loop’ system, where warm water is pumped to the surface and put through a heat exchanger. Heat is extracted from the geothermal water to heat the aquatic centre water and centre heating  system. The geothermal water does not contact the atmosphere and is then pumped back down into the same aquifer, with zero loss of water.

The Geothermal system was designed by an Australian-wide group of experts and was built locally using Victorian and Gippsland expertise in drilling, plumbing and thermal energy. The Geothermal system cost $3.9 Million, with savings of over $700,000 per year when compared to conventional heating (gas, electricity). It provides thermal energy 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. 

Scroll to Top