UND team proposes geothermal project in Mandaree, North Dakota
A team from the University of North Dakota is proposing a geothermal greenhouse project in Mandaree using abandoned oil and gas wells.
A team from the University of Dakota College of Engineering and Mines is proposing a project that will establish a geothermal industry in North Dakota. More specifically, the project proposes the use of geothermal heating for a greenhouse to grow fruits and vegetables in Mandaree, which is said to have an aquifer with temperatures exceeding 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius).
The idea of developing a geothermal industry in North Dakota was borne out of the work done by a team of graduate students in the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering where geothermal studies have been done for the past two decades with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.
A team from UND, in partnership with Reykjavik University, had also taken first place in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Collegiate Competition back in 2021. The UND proposal submitted as an entry to the 2021 competition involved using end-of-life oil and gas wells as sources of geothermal energy. Mandaree was a prime location to test this idea.
To raise awareness about the benefits of geothermal district energy generation, the UND team conducted a forum in New Town for discussion among local leaders and the community.
“We’re currently working with the North Dakota Department of Commerce to establish a geothermal industry in North Dakota, said Will Gosnold, professor of geology and geological engineering and lead advisor to the student team. “Raising the visibility of that effort through this community event, which emphasizes the potential for both Mandaree and New Town, is progress toward that goal.”
“North Dakota has an enormous geothermal energy resource in the Williston Basin, and we are encouraged by this upcoming New Town event and by the interests and activities of others,” Gosnold remarked. “If such a resource were developed, all heating-and-cooling and most electrical power needs would come from an inexhaustible, geothermal resource.”
Source: University of North Dakota