Rest of DOE stimulus allocated to geothermal heating/ cooling

Alexander Richter 2 Jun 2009

DOE to announce allocation of US$50 million to a program that encourages the installation of geothermal heating-and-cooling systems.

The U.S. stimulus package allocated US$ 400 million to geothermal energy research and development to be administered by the Department of Energy (DOE). Last week US$ 350 million of that was allocated to geothermal power generation projects, as talked about on this site.

Now the Obama administration, so reported today, “will announce “a US$50 million program to encourage the installation of heating-and-cooling systems like ones made by a Fort Wayne company that rely on the Earth’s temperature to warm and cool buildings.

It’s part of the “green energy” program President Obama promised would increase jobs as his administration tries to move the U.S. away from as much consumption of oil, coal and other fossil fuels.

The $50 million will be used for three programs. Most will be available for competitive grants open to companies like Fort Wayne’s WaterFurnace International. Makers of geothermal heating and cooling systems will be eligible to apply for grants for cost-shared technology demonstration projects that retrofit or incorporate a minimum of 50 tons of heating and cooling capacity.

Another program will provide grants to improve the technology of geothermal systems; and a third will create a national certification process to increase consumer confidence.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will announce the program today when he tours WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc. and speaks at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, formerly called WaterFurnace International, is a 26-year-old company that makes heating-and-cooling systems for homes and businesses. Pipes are coiled through a yard, at the bottom of a pond or vertically into the ground or a well.

In the summer, the heat of the building is transferred to the water in the coiled pipes. The pipes are then cooled by the earth or the pond, and the cooled water is pumped back to the building, where cooled air is pumped through ducts.”

So now the round-up for the stimulus DOE allocation has been given and it is time to put down a speedy and little bureaucratic process to make this money available to geothermal projects and companies as soon as possible.