Eden Geothermal Ltd was set up by three partners: Eden Project, EGS Energy Ltd, and Bestec (UK) Ltd to unlock the geothermal energy deep in the granite beneath Cornwall.
We are drilling a 4.5km deep well at the Eden Project, to heat its famous Biomes, greenhouses and offices.
This is the first phase of a two well development. It will pave the way for the second phase: another 4.5km well and an electricity plant.
Meet the team making it all happen below – or go to the Eden Geothermal Project page to find out more about the project.
Meet the team
Augusta Grand, Executive Director
Before leading Eden Geothermal, Gus was Head of Policy at Eden, developing Eden’s sustainability and science programme. This involved a wide variety of educational exhibits such as the Wellcome Trust Funded Invisible Worlds programme, partnership projects and research as well as keeping an eye on Eden’s own emissions. The ambition to generate Eden’s own renewable heat and power has been a cornerstone of strategy for more than a decade, and Gus has been working on the geothermal project since 2012. She has been at Eden since 2001 and has created content and policy in many subject areas: biodiversity, sustainability, development, climate, energy, transport and mining. She specialises in partnership projects with industry, academia and the public sector.
Richard Day, Non-Executive Chairman
Richard is a qualified lawyer and worked in various City firms for several years. He then joined Cazenove & Co (now JP Morgan Cazenove) and was in their Corporate Finance team for 12 years. He was a founding partner of institutional stockbrokers Arden Partners plc in 2002 and Head of Corporate Finance for most of his time with the firm, with a particular focus on Energy, Power and Renewables companies. He played an important part in building the Arden business, both domestically and internationally. He established and grew the corporate team from scratch to close to 50 retained listed corporate clients. He is now on the boards of and working closely with a range of companies, both publicly quoted and private.
Tony Bennett, Operations Director
Tony is a mining engineer, with a wide knowledge of geology and mining in Cornwall. Between 1980 and 1991 Tony worked as Drilling Support Engineer during the drilling of the three 2,000 – 2,500 m deep wells in the Carnmenellis Granite at the Camborne School of Mines Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Project. After this he became Technical Engineer involved with various aspects of creating, developing, testing and remediating the demonstration EGS reservoirs; latterly assisted with the feasibility assessment for a 6km deep system. Subsequently he worked for a mining consultancy based in Cornwall until joining EGS Energy in 2010 as Operations Manager, before becoming an Executive Director in 2013. Since 2017, Tony has also worked on the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project for Geoscience Ltd.
David Harland, Non-Executive Director
David is Chief Executive Officer of Eden Project International. He joined Eden Project in early 2013 as Finance Director before becoming joint Executive Director later that year. He subsequently became the first CEO of Eden Project International, leading on the development of a portfolio of ambitious projects in China, Australia, the Middle East, Costa Rica as well as elsewhere in the UK including Eden Project North in Morecambe. Alongside his commitment to Eden’s educational mission, David’s financial background has provided the basis for the growth of Eden despite challenging times and variable circumstances, and as the leader of a diverse and expert staff, he brings highly qualified expertise to bear on all of Eden’s projects both at home in Cornwall and around the world.
Phil Kent, Non-Executive Director
Phil is a Director at Gravis Capital Management, where has overall responsibility for the management of GCP Infrastructure Investments Limited, a FTSE 250 investment company focussed on UK infrastructure with a market capitalisation of c. £1bn. Over the 5 years since joining Gravis, Phil has principally been involved in the identification and structuring of new investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector. Phil has been the lead fund manager of GCP Infra for 2.5 years, during which time he has also led the portfolio management and investor and board communication activities.
Phil joined Gravis from Foresight Group, where he was responsible for investments in the waste and renewable sectors, including large waste wood combustion projects and a pipeline of anaerobic digestion projects across the UK. Philip has been involved in the energy sector for nearly 15 years, working initially as a consultant within PA Consulting’s energy practice, focusing on energy markets and energy asset valuations. In 2008, he moved to Gazprom Marketing and Trading, working in risk management across a number of commodities before moving into the clean energy team.
Operations and Technical
Max Skerratt, Project Manager
Max returned to the UK to join Eden Geothermal after working in the geothermal industry in New Zealand for ten years. As a chartered engineer and professional project manager, Max has worked on a range of geothermal projects incorporating both existing and new build ventures. Max was heavily involved with the last 5 wells of a 40-well programme which entailed drilling 3km deep geothermal wells in volcanic rock, and has also led a team with responsibility for maintaining and modifying existing conventional and binary cycle geothermal power stations.
Dr Joerg Baumgaertner, Drilling Manager
Joerg is one of the leading specialists in the world on developing and producing geothermal energy from Enhanced Geothermal Systems. Post-doctorate at Stanford University and Dowell-Schlumberger, USA, specialising in borehole measurements and stimulation of deep boreholes; PhD in hydraulic surveying and rock stress analysis of deep boreholes; and Diplomas in Geophysics. He is a specialist in well and system testing, including borehole measurements and stimulation techniques of deep boreholes. Joerg is a Member of the German Geothermal Association (Bundesverband Geothermie) and a Member of the Geothermal Resources Council, USA. He has extensive experience in both conventional and engineered geothermal systems and their management. Jorg has completed two 4MWe capacity geothermal plants at Landau and Insheim in Germany for GeoX GmbH.
Roy Baria, Chief Technical Advisor
Founder and Technical Director of EGS Energy Ltd 2009; was consultant to ORMAT Technologies, Inc. and Chevron Corporation, USA; Shell International; BESTEC GmbH; Green Rock Energy Australia; Geodynamics Australia; Lawrence Livermore Labs, USA; and an advisor to US Dept. of Energy. He has represented International Energy Agency’s geothermal group (IEA/GIA) on the International Panel on Climate Change and was the task leader for deep geothermal (EGS) on IEA/GIA for 15 years. Roy has extensive experience in the development and management of deep geothermal projects (EGS) with over 35 years’ experience. From 1976 to 1990 he was seconded from BGS to CSM as head of the geophysics department and in 1987 became Deputy Project Director at the HDR geothermal project in Cornwall. In 1990, he was seconded to the European EGS research geothermal programme at Soultz-sous-Forets, France, as Chief Scientist and Project Coordinator, a role held until 2005. During this period, successful deep geothermal systems were created at 3,600 m depth and then at 5,000m depth. In 2018 Roy (EGSE) received GRC’s “Geothermal Special Achievement Award” in Reno for his contribution to geothermal development worldwide.
Steve Mabbott, Site Manager
Steve joined Eden Project in 2018 and has been with Eden Geothermal since September 2020. His background has covered a very broad range of Engineering disciplines from heavy engineering in the steel industry to various roles in FMCG and consultancy.
Steve is a qualified, multi-skilled engineer with a keen focus on Health & Safety. He has held several senior positions as Project Manager, Estates & Facilities Manager, Operations Director and Engineering & Production Manager.
Steve’s knowledge of the geographical area and supporting networks, and his in-depth experience of working as Eden’s Estates & Facilities Manager have been invaluable in ensuring that we have the correct site infrastructure to support the project.
Terry Gandy, Drilling Supervisor (days)
Terry is an ambitious Drilling Manager and Supervisor with over 30 years of experience in both oil & gas as well as geothermal drilling.
After drilling hundreds of wells for the oil & gas industry in the US, he specialised in drilling crystalline rock as drilling supervisor on the Vattenfall Deep Gas Project in Sweden, drilling two 23,000 ft wells completely in granite.
His addiction to geothermal started within the HDR-Soultz Hot Dry Rock Program in Soultz-sous-Forêts, France where he acted as Drilling Manager and Supervisor. He has subsequently drilled several geothermal wells to depths of up to more than 17,000 ft and with temperatures exceeding 200 °C in the UK, Turkey and France. And as Drilling Manager and Supervisor of geothermal projects in Germany, he drilled the four wells which now feed the Landau and Insheim geothermal power plants.
Terry operates his own companies Gandy, Inc. in the US and BESTEC Drilling GmbH in Germany.
Peter Mulholland, Drilling Supervisor (days)
Peter describes himself as “an international expedition cave and cave diving explorer who happens to have worked in the drilling game since 1983″.
His career that has taken him from the Somerset Levels, via a degree in Geology around the world multiple times. During this time he has worn many hats: Geologist, Drilling Engineer, Well Engineering Manager, Caver and Cave Diver.
He is now a Chartered Engineer with the Energy Institute and a member of the British Cave Diving Group. His experience includes drilling into the sides of Active volcanoes in Indonesia, in the Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia and deep Granite Geothermal wells in Europe. He has had the good fortune to have worked in Europe, Africa, SE Asia, Australia, Asia and the USA and has been on National Geographic cave diving expeditions in Mexico and the USA.
Peter is passionate about geothermal and feels lucky to have been joined the Eden Geothermal team as Drilling Supervisor.
John Knowles, Drilling Supervisor (nights)
John has 25 years experience in the energy industry in various locations around the world. After he graduated in Geology / Geochemistry in 1995 he started working as a mud logger and worked his way up to be a drilling supervisor which he has done for the last 17 years.
Mohsen Nekouzad, Drilling Supervisor (nights)
Mohsen holds a master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, and has worked in the drilling and wells sector for over 17 years. He began his career as a Wellsite Drilling Engineer and has continued as a Drilling Supervisor for a number of operators across the world, including in the UK, the Middle East, and South America. Mohsen is keen about geothermal energy as a green & sustainable energy.
Chris Briggs, Drilling Support Engineer
Chris has 23 years of drilling experience worldwide including many geothermal wells in Germany and France. When he’s not working he’s generally sailing or messing around on the water and racing in events such as the Rolex Fastnet. As a resident of Cornwall he’s very excited to see geothermal energy being developed in the county.
Robbie Bilsland, Drilling Support Engineer
Robbie has spent the past 5 years working on drilling rigs across Europe and the Middle East with Schlumberger. Robbie studied Petroleum Engineering to master’s level at Heriot Watt University and has been involved in both hydrocarbon and geothermal exploration projects in his career to date.
Danielle Bishop, Hygiene Technician
Danielle joined us in April this year and is the youngest member of our team. She’s really taken to the new challenge of working in an industrial environment, having previously worked in the hospitality sector at one of Cornwall’s prestigious Hotels in Newquay. She is responsible for cleaning and hygiene in all EGL site buildings, playing a key role in ensuring we remain Covid-safe.
Finance, Administration and Communications
Paul Newcombe, Finance Director and Company Secretary
Paul was born and bred in Cornwall, studied Accountancy at University of Exeter, and has been a qualified Chartered Accountant for over 30 years. Paul spent 16 years working in accountancy practice at the largest independent firm of accountants in Cornwall, then 11 years in senior finance roles at two of the UK’s largest telecoms dealers in the SME sector. At Eden Project since 2011, Paul was Financial Controller before switching to Eden Geothermal in 2019. As Eden’s Financial Controller, Paul was responsible for the management and statutory accounts for all entities in the Eden Trust group, day to day cash management, budgeting, overseeing Eden’s financial procedures, liaising with and reporting to auditors, funders, HMRC and other relevant statutory bodies.
Claire Judd, Office and Events Manager
Claire joined the company in December 2019. Her background is in project development and management in the charity, community and environmental sectors. Claire’s previous roles have included Office / Operations Manager, Project Manager, Development Manager, Community Fundraiser and Community Support Officer, with organisations including British Red Cross, Friends of the Earth and Network Recycling. Claire will provide welcome support to the existing team to ensure the smooth running of the office.