EARLY indications show Crewe could have enough geothermal energy supplies to provide every resident in the UK with a daily hot shower – for the next 142 years.

Cheshire East Council said consultants they commissioned have discovered the vast subterranean supplies close to Leighton Hospital.

Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones said the projected supplies had taken the authority by surprise.

“We knew the Cheshire basin was plentiful but these projections show that there is potentially a great deal more than initially thought,” he said.

“This is an incredibly exciting project and could well catapult Crewe on to the national platform as a global player in energy production.”

“This could well turn around Crewe’s future economy in terms of jobs and investment. We are at the beginning of extremely exciting times.

“Just imagine having a viable energy source that is green, clean and sustainable and can self-sustain a whole area, never mind provide the country with enough hot water for a daily shower.”

Geothermal energy uses water that is naturally heated by the earth’s core.

It can be drawn to the surface retaining a temperature of up to 100 degrees Celsius.

The British Geological Society has identified the Cheshire Basin near Crewe as only one of six deep geothermal resources in the UK.

The council is currently looking for energy partners to invest in the scheme via thechest.nwce.gov.uk There are around 100 gigawatt hours a year (gwh) within a 2.5km radius of the proposed site in Leighton West and around 50gwh a year from just two sites within 1km.

Earlier this year, Cheshire East Council was awarded £200,000 for geothermal exploration, representing the biggest grant in the country.

The council will explore the benefits of drilling down up to 5km and extracting water at temperatures around 100 degrees Celsius.

The council hopes to begin extraction with a suitable partner within the next 12 months.