Automaker Stellantis NV struck an agreement with Vulcan Energy Resources to develop geothermal energy projects which it hopes will “decarbonize” the combination of fuel sources it is using to power the Stellantis Rüsselsheim plant in Germany, where its DS4 and Opel Astra are assembled. It added that the project could provide “a significant portion” of that plant’s annual energy needs by 2025.
Geothermal energy processes rely on heat extracted from deep wells driven into the earth and used to drive turbines that power generators.
The automaker has pledged to becoming carbon-net-zero enterprise by 2038, and to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030. The new project is Stellantis’ first effort to adopt geothermal energy to decarbonize and localize its energy supplies.
Vulcan – an Australian start-up that has a lithium supply deal with Stellantis – will conduct a pre-feasibility study about building a geothermal extraction process at Rüsselsheim; the next phase will focus on drilling and more advanced studies and development of the process.
The two partners are committing to produce clean electricity and supply it to the grid for internal and external consumption, and heat to be transferred to Stellantis’ manufacturing site.
Stellantis committed to provide 50% of the project’s funding, though each partner also will seek public financing opportunities for the development.
“This partnership with Vulcan reinforces our commitment to promoting greater clean energy solutions across our enterprise,” according to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares. “It is one of many actions we’ve taken to drive results, impact, and sustainability in alignment with our Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan.”