Perth could become the world’s first geothermally cooled city, with potential of achieving zero emissions, under the new federally funded CSIRO Geothermal Project.

Under the $20 million project, the CSIRO and the University of Western Australia (UWA) will investigate the viability of using Geothermal Energy pm a large-scale.

Leading UWA geothermal scientist Winthrop Professor Klaus Regenauer-Lieb said Perth Basin under the Swan Coast Plain had the ideal geological settings to aim for the goal of a zero emissions geothermal city.

Professor Regenauer-Lieb, Director of the WA Geothermal Centre of Excellence (WAGCOE), said the new project would aim to prove the large-scale viability of geothermal energy by cooling the new Pawsey Centre Supercomputer at the Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC) in the Perth suburb of Kensington.

"The geothermal cooling project will significantly reduce water use through direct cooling of one of the world's most powerful computers with groundwater and thereby save over 38 million litres of water each year compared to the standard cooling tower solution," Professor Regenauer-Lieb said.

WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said WAGCOE had been instrumental in making geothermal power part of WA's energy sector and its success would help to develop the state's future geothermal energy resources.