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Small geothermal district heating project in Reno to be shut down

View over Reno with the Peppermill Resort & Casino in the background (source: flickr/ RobertCiavarro, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 23 Feb 2017

A small-scale geothermal district heating system in Reno, Nevada - yet the largest in the state - is likely to be shut down due to expensive investments required to update the system.

With geothermal district heating not being much used in the U.S., it is sad to report on a small geothermal district heating project in the city of Reno in Nevada being shut down. Nevada Geothermal Utility Company (NGUC), a privately owned utility, has operated the district since 1983 when it served only 10 homes. Today, the NGUC 130-acre service area serves about 110 homes under contract for geothermal space and/or water heating and other related applications.

The geothermal district is a closed loop system. Geothermal water is pumped from two production wells to flat-plate heat exchangers at the surface. Hot water is circulated from the heat exchangers to the subdivisions via underground pipes. All geothermal water is injected back into the geothermal reservoir through a re-injection well located on the premises.

With very low heating costs of $85/ month through geothermal heat, residents now face expensive installation costs for new systems and higher operating and fuel costs. The upgrade of the current geothermal installations would require up to $4 million in cost that are too high for the current owners of the utility.

Source: My News 4