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Recovery Act-Funded Geothermal Heat Pump projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was allocated funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to conduct research into ground source heat pump technologies and applications. Projects funded by the Recovery Act include:

Historic Train Depot with a Hybrid System

Funding amount: $1.7 million
1001 South 15th Street Associates LLC - New School and Performing Arts Theater

The facility is a 23,000 square foot historic train depot requiring a GHP with 206 tons of cooling capacity.  The hybrid GHP system incorporates a dry cooler to improve efficiency and life cycle effectiveness of the system by seasonally rebalancing the ground temperature.

Massive Project with Massive Job Creation and Carbon Savings

Funding amount: $5.0 million
Ball State University - District Heating and Cooling System (Phase I)

The replacement of the University's aging stoker boilers is large project, as the boilers have 10,000 tons of heating and cooling capacity. Ball State will make use of 2D Resistivity Borefield Analysis in designing and optimizing the borefield in order to install a ground source geothermal heating and cooling system. The system will serve 5.5 million square feet of conditioned space, including campus dorms and offices and annually avoid 36,000 tons of coal. 

Funding amount: $5.0 million
Blaine County School District #61 - District Wide Geothermal Heating Conversion

In a regionally repeatable technology, Blaine County will retrofit a number of schools with a combination of direct-use geothermal heating and geothermal heat pump (GHP) systems to provide cooling.  One potential project site incorporates 55°F GHP loop for cooling, and 100°F geothermal water  for heating. Two cooling and two heating production wells, and two injection wells will be used to provide more than 275 tons capacity of geothermal heating and cooling. Other locations need more than 1,700 tons of cooling capacity, and include heat recovery and natural gas-fired boilers for backup heat. DOE proposes a reduced cost share ($5 million requested, $4 million proposed) since these sites are completely independent and Carey campus is most innovative, offering both direct-use and GHP systems.

Performance Contracting Through Energy Savings for Three Schools

Funding amount: $1.6 million
Cedarville School District 44 - Cedarville High, Middle, Elementary Schools

This project will use Energy Performance Contract financing, where predicted utility savings offset project capital costs. Expected monthly utility savings of ultra high-efficiency GHP system will be greater than monthly payments to the ESCO. The GHP system will offer 610 tons of heating and cooling capacity for three school facilities with more than 150,000 square feet of conditioned space.  Located in rural areas, data monitoring and dissemination will be provided to National Geothermal Data System.

Hybrid Application for Ice Rink

Funding amount: $1.3 million
City of Eagan - Ice Arena

The City of Eagan will produce cold water for ice rink maintenance and hot water for facilities' heating and hot water needs. The GHP hybrid system produces chilled water and works with the on-site glycol (antifreeze) loop to maintain rink ice temperature and provides facility hot water for  heating and cooling with 240 tons total capacity (four 60-ton units).  This is the first Recovery Act project in the ground source heat pump (GSHP) portfolio to complete construction.

Hybrid System with Green Building Design

Funding amount: $1.3 million
City of Raleigh - Wilders Grove Solid Waste Service Center

The site building is a Waste Processing Center and will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.  The GHP system will manage the site's hot water, and includes a hybrid ground loop and evaporative condenser system to provide 100 tons of heating and cooling capacity for 24,000 square feet of commercial space.  This will provide a model for similar processing centers in other jurisdictions.

Energy Performance Contracting and Monitoring

Funding amount: $4.6 million
Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration - Colorado State Capitol Building

This is an Energy Performance Contracting project with Chevron Energy Solutions as the energy services company. The Colorado School of Mines, through its Geothermal Academy, will collect and analyze essential technical and economic data to assess the true performance of the GHP system. Geothermal Academy will create an easy-to-use, Web-based monitoring system of energy consumption for educational and performance assessment purposes.

Energy Performance Contracting and Mixed Use

Funding amount: $430,000
Colorado Northwestern Community College - Craig Campus

The GHP system will be a central and campus loop design serving 86,000 square feet of mixed commercial space, including offices, labs, a student union, and library building. The project is structured as an energy performance contract with Chevron Energy Solutions as the energy services company.  The project is designed to offer an on-campus educational opportunity.  The system will provide 184 tons of heating and cooling capacity.

Underground Water Reservoir Heat Exchange

Funding amount: $2.6 million
Denver Museum of Nature and Science - Education and Collection Facility

The GHP system includes 100 tons of heating and cooling capacity.  The facility will install an open-loop system using water circulating within an underground municipal recycled (non-potable) water system as the heat sink and source. This innovation is expected to significantly reduce the typical GHP installation costs and area required for heat exchanger while boosting system efficiency.  The system will serve 100,000 square feet of conditioned space with 100 tons of heating and cooling capacity.

Subsurface Mine Heat Exchange

Funding amount: $1.2 million
Department of Military Affairs - Illinois National Guard State Headquarters

The Department will use water contained in abandoned subsurface mines as the heat exchange medium.  The system will serve 74,000 square feet of conditioned office space. The GHP system will use water contained in abandoned subsurface mines for heat exchange and will consist of a community and district loop system with 168 tons of heating and cooling capacity. This encourages deployment in significant niche markets.

Adult Detention Facility

Funding amount: $5.0 million
District Energy Corporation - District Energy SW 40th Street Thermal Plant

This building includes up to 500,000 square feet of conditioned space.  The GHP is estimated to have a 13.8% higher capital cost but will save 35% in energy costs and 23.3% in operation and maintenance costs. The GHP offers a 25 year life cycle cost of $5,219,811, which is 8.7% lower than conventional boilers.  The system will provide tremendous energy savings over traditional heating and cooling systems at similar facilities.

Facility Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System Conversion

Funding amount: $200,000
Flathead Electric Cooperative – Industrial and Commercial sites in Montana

The system includes 80 tons of heating and cooling capacity and innovative use of incentives to promote GHPs in Flathead's utility distribution system.  The site (or sites) will include warehouses, fleet garages, and office buildings. This project will increase visibility for GHPs and encourage more than 700 other co-ops to adopt similar programs.

New Prison Facility Construction and Mixed Use Center Renovation

Funding amount: $1.6 million
Forrest County – Multi-Purpose Center and new County Jail

The system installed will provide 800 tons of heating and cooling capacity. A 50% cost share will be provided by Forrest County.  The project will increase visibility and acceptance of the technology for penal applications and lasting institutions within the state and nation.

Campus-Wide District Deployment Model at University

Funding amount: $2.4 million
Furman University - North Village

The project will reduce utilities costs and will serve as an on-campus educational opportunity. The GHP system incorporates 781 tons of heating and cooling capacity. The GHP sites include student multifamily housing buildings with approximately 300,000 square feet of conditioned space.

Shared Closed Loop and Carbon Dioxide Refrigerant Innovations

Funding amount: $1.3 million
Indiana Institute of Technology – Educational and Residential buildings

This project will demonstrate a variety of new technologies and show the viability of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a cooling medium.  The system will use CO2 as the cooling medium in compressor rather than typical non-ozone depleting R-12 and R-22 refrigerants.  This limits introduction of manufactured gases if equipment leaks occur. Multiple buildings on one common loop will optimize the serving of non-concurrent heating and cooling loads. CO2 emissions will reduce by 57% to 242 tons a year from the utility source.  130 tons of heating and cooling capacity in Phase 1, and 440 tons in Phase 2 are expected for classroom and dorm buildings.

Third Party Financing for Local Union Campus

Funding amount: $2.5 million
Indie Energy Systems Company, LLC – Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers Headquarters

The project consists of the retrofit of the local union using Indie's third-party leveraged financing approach through the company's Indie Energy Smart Geothermal Fund. It also demonstrates Indie's proprietary backend metering and performance data system. The facility comprises 166,000 square feet of conditioned commercial and office space.

350 Tons of Chiller GHPs for LEED Platinum Building

Funding amount: $300,000
Johnson Controls, Inc. – LEED Platinum Corporate Headquarters

The project will incorporate a real-time energy savings calculator visible to the public, which should greatly increase GHP public awareness.  The GHP systems will be installed at Johnson's new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum Certified headquarters facility in Glendale, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee suburb. Real-time energy savings will be calculated via building automation system and presented to the public via an interactive "kiosk" on site, and will also be accessible via the internet. The systems will total 350 tons of heating and cooling capacity with 258,000 square feet of conditioned space.  It will incorporate solar photovoltaic systems and a variety of energy efficient and environmentally-sustainable features.

Capturing Energy from Abandoned Mine Waters

Funding amount: $1.1 million
Montana Tech - Butte, Montana

Montana Tech will demonstrate low-cost heating of a modern building with a GHP using water from nearby Orphan Boy Mine as a heat exchange medium. They will demonstrate low-cost heating of a modern building through a GHP using the nearby  Orphan Boy Mine shaft—which is 1,200 feet from the building and 1,500 feet deep—as a heat exchange. The mine water temperature is a consistent 78°F (25°C), unlike other mine-based heat exchange projects on record. The project will provide 50 – 70 tons minimum of heating and cooling capacity.  The successful application of these techniques could allow replication to buildings across the campus and in the City of Butte.

Hybrid System of Dry Fluid Coolers and Very Efficient Pumps, Fans, and Controls for Optimization

Funding amount: $5.0 million
Oak Ridge City Center, LLC – Shopping Mall

The Center is a 660,000 square foot, enclosed shopping mall that will be fitted with an innovative hybrid GHP heating and cooling system to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The building requires 630 – 1,470 tons of heating and cooling capacity. The system incorporates a hybrid design with dry fluid coolers, single- and variable-speed pumps, two stage heat pumps with variable-speed fans, and controls for multi-stage operation during periods of low-load periods to improve efficiency and reduces costs.

Solar Thermal System Integration with Geothermal Heat Pumps

Funding amount: $2.7 million
Oakland University - Human Health Science Building

This project incorporates a GHP system with a roof-mounted solar thermal hot water array to provide summer dehumidification and cooling as well as winter space heating.  The project is highly innovative, using thermally-activated desiccant outdoor air supply systems with these arrays.  When combined, the results drive out summer humidity, reduce GHP loads, and improve GHP well field operation.  The school will monitor and verify the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system performance and efficiency for three years.  The system serves 160,260 square feet of classroom office building space.  

Flowing River Heat Exchange for Large Scale Development

Funding amount:  $1.0 million
RiverHeath LLC - Residential, Office and Retail Development

The project demonstrates river-based heat exchange plates that use flowing water to provide high heat transfer. The GHP will serve a building located on a former brownfield site, and uses financing from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This project provides more than 245 tons of heating and cooling capacity.  The system serves retail space (20,000 square feet) and residential and retail mixed space (110,000 square feet) for a total of 130,000 total conditioned space in Wisconsin.

Micro-Utility Financing Model

Funding amount: $300,000
Skychaser Energy, Inc. - Lake Elizabeth Micro-utility of Wisconsin

This demonstration combines the viability of an innovative GHP business with a micro-utility financing model that utilizes a PPA arrangement applied to space conditioning.  The project provides thermal energy affordably to multiple end users on a billable basis.  It consists of PPA arrangements to aggregate demand and creates an interest-bearing asset and financing mechanism to develop future micro-utilities. The system will provide 73 tons of heating and cooling capacity to a condominium multifamily property.  Ultimately, the model creates a mechanism for recovering project costs in a timely manner.

School System Hybrid Design Validation

Funding amount:  $4.2 million
Tennessee Department of Education - Energy Efficient Schools Initiative

The Department of Education will install GHP systems in schools in order to validate the current hybrid GHP system design model developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning.  Oak Ridge National Laboratory will analyze performance and savings.  The systems are financed through excess Tennessee state lottery funds managed by Tennessee Energy Efficiency Schools Initiative.  Oak Ridge National Laboratory and CDH Energy will provide technical assistance and develop a calibrated simulation model to determine reductions in energy use, demand, cost, and pollutant emissions for new construction.  A utility bill analysis will provide a baseline and new GHP savings in retrofit projects.

Large Scale System for American Poultry Farmers

Funding amount: $2.5 million
The Curators of the University of Missouri – Holliday, Missouri

The project upgrades two rural poultry farms with solar-assisted GHPs and will use a newly-designed concentrated solar collector that provides heat up to 200°F, combined with underground thermal storage, to achieve better performance. Innovative financing will be provided via a micro green utility financing model, developed by the principal investigator and used in Asia through partnership with an international capital investment company. The system, or systems, will comprise more than 400 tons of heating and cooling capacity.

Life Cycle Costing of New Student Housing

Funding amount:  $2.8 million
University at Albany – Student Housing in New York

The system will provide 500 tons of cooling capacity.  The project follows a life-cycle cost-basis for investment decision rather than first-cost (building and loop life span are both 50 years). The project will tap in to additional financial incentives from New York State's New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The facility is comprised of 200,000 square feet of conditioned space, with 500-bed multifamily apartments and dorm housing.

Campus-Wide District Deployment Model at University

Funding amount:  $600,000
West Chester University – Pennsylvania

The overall objective is to install geothermal wells, distribution piping, and building mechanical system upgrades leading toward completion of West Chester University's district geo-exchange system.  The campus will convert its HVAC systems from fossil-fuel derived central steam and electric powered chillers to the use of the earth's stored energy capacity.