Jubilee Pool: transforming a local landmark through green innovation

Geothermal heat and renewable power reinvigorate this historic lido for a new era.

Jubilee Pool has been a feature of the Penzance coastline since 1935, when it opened to become the UK’s largest sea water lido. After almost closing down due to storm damage, this art deco landmark has been reinvented for a new era through green energy innovation and the dedication of the local community. 

Originally built to provide a sheltered, attractive bathing spot on a declining stretch of coast, the future of Jubilee Pools was threatened in 2014 when storm waves caused severe damage. Thankfully, the local Penzance community came together to rescue their lido. Jubilee Pool is now a community run social enterprise, and soon embarked on a development programme designed to make the pool sustainable – in both economic and environmental terms. 

Harnessing the power of nature

A big challenge with operating an open-air sea water pool in Britain is the weather. Jubilee Pool wanted to find a way to remain open all year round rather than just in the summer. The answer lay deep beneath Cornwall, in the form of geothermal power.

In 2018, the social enterprise launched an ambitious drive for investment to rejuvenate their main pool and changing facilities and develop a new geothermal pool. Of the £1.8 million secured, £540,000 came from a public share offering, with the majority of shareholders being local people. 

The geothermal system draws warm water from a 410m deep geothermal well; extracts and concentrates the heat using heat pumps, then distributes it to the sea water pool using a heat exchanger. The cool water is then reinjected back into the ground. As the UK’s first lido heated in this way, Jubilee Pool showcases how renewable energy projects provide opportunities for new business growth. 

Renewable heat meets renewable power

Geothermal power already provides Jubilee Pool with a low-carbon heat source. To make their operations even more sustainable, they engaged a local consultancy, AMR Consulting, to help them review their carbon footprint and develop a plan to achieve net negative carbon emissions.

One of the key milestones on their net zero journey was switching to a green energy provider. Jordan Hammond, marketing manager at Jubilee Pool explained that AMR helped the Jubilee Pool find genuinely green options within the market: “[AMR] explained the difference between 100% renewable power and REGO backed electricity”.

Andrew Robinson of AMR is dedicated to providing businesses with genuinely sustainable options for energy sourcing. “I look for a solid foundation, green credentials and high rated customer service before recommending any clients”. And it was this approach that led Jubilee Pool to Good Energy. 

“We chose to work with Good Energy over the others based on their green credentials, shared ethics and community‐driven approach. Knowing that Good Energy has a wind farm in Cornwall provided a more local connection, aiding our decision.”

Jordan Hammond, marketing manager at Jubilee Pool

The journey to net zero

With 100% renewable electricity powering the main pool, café and geothermal system, Jubilee Pool estimates that they will save over 17 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Renewable energy sourcing is an essential component of their commitments to reducing their environmental impact. Other measures include reducing plastic; working with local, ethical suppliers in their café; and protecting the surrounding marine area by minimising the use of chemicals in the lido. 

As Jordan explains, this focus on sustainability has been important in helping the pool recover from the challenges of recent years, and keep Jubilee Pool thriving for years to come.

“We are constantly monitoring our impact on the environment and making changes in all our purchasing and operational practices. As we begin to emerge from the COVID‐19 pandemic we want to regain our ability to be at the forefront of sustainability and continue towards a carbon‐neutral future”.

How Good Energy supports Jubilee Pools with their sustainability goals

  • 100% renewable electricity supply that saves the organisation an estimated 17.84 tonnes of carbon emissions a year
  • Good Energy’s relationship with energy consultancy AMR enabled Jubilee Pools to trust that they were sourcing electricity from a genuinely renewable supplier
  • Supports their commitments towards supporting local supply chains.

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