News

Oregon Institute of Technology tapping into geothermal

Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 17 Jan 2009

The Oregonian reports that the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) has been using geothermal heat to warm its classrooms, heat its swimming pool and melt snow from its sidewalks for decades. But now the school plans further development.

The Oregonian reports that the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) has been using geothermal heat to warm its classrooms, heat its swimming pool and melt snow from its sidewalks for decades. But now the school plans further development.

Within a year, so the article, the OIT plans to become the first campus in the world powered by its own renewable geothermal source. A drilling rig from Californian ThermaSource, is now aiming for a geological fracture about 1,600 metres (1 mile) below ground to tap into 150 centigrades (300 F) water to feed a 1.5 MW electrical plant. The high-heat plant, which is estimated to cost about US$ 4.5 million will produce enough energy to power the entire Klamath Falls campus and possible beyond that.

But the project goes beyond that and with a total cost of about US$ 8.5 million, the school plans another low-temperature plant, which is supposed to run on existing geothermal wells on the school’s grounds, to heat aquaculture ponds and a pair of greenhouses. The project aims to become an incubator for researchers and companies that could have business development implications for the county.

Source: Abby Haight for The Oregonian