Education systems reaping rewards of geothermal energy

Posted on: March 24th, 2014
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Education systems reaping rewards of geothermal energy

Education systems reaping rewards of geothermal energy

It’s not only homes and business that are looking to go green – schools are increasingly making this a top priority to help protect the environment as well as contain their budgets. There are a variety of steps that can be taken to achieve this goal, but clean energy has become a top priority for many education systems. In particular, as many schools become aware of the advantages of geothermal energy, these technologies have become increasingly attractive. As a result of implementing these solutions, education systems have been reaping considerable rewards for their sustainability efforts.

Green plans
The Moody County Enterprise reported that Flandreau High School is one facility that is seeking to leverage these technologies. A recent meeting at the lecture hall delved into the details surrounding the school’s impending energy upgrades. The majority of the plans have been outlined to finally launch the project, and now it’s only a matter of which contractor will get the work.

“We needed to fix our heating and cooling system, that’s basically why we started this project,” said Flandreau Public Schools Superintendent, Rick Weber, as quoted by the news outlet. “We had to because the pipes are getting old, they’re starting to leak and they’re rotting from the inside out. They’re 50 years old … so that’s how we got started on this. As we got into it, we decided on some other relevant updates for the rest of the school too.”

The green revamping, especially the new geothermal HVAC system, is expected to make a major difference at Flandreau Public Schools. In fact, Weber is confident that these updates will ensure a better educational environment for the next 50 years.

“Energy efficiency is the name of this project because not only will the changes we make improve the energy we’re using long term but we will save money as well,” he told The Moody County Enterprise.

Green awards
Meanwhile, other schools have already been reaping the benefits of geothermal energy. According to The Princeton Sun, Princeton Academy recently garnered Sustainable Leadership Award as a result of its implementation of geothermal wells in 2013. Sustainable Princeton awarded 10 of these awards total. Not long ago, Princeton Academy invested $12 million into overhauling its academic spaces with the intention of offering a more eco-friendly educational environment. This included the installation of LED lighting as well as geothermal wells to heat and cool all of the buildings.

“We are thrilled to accept this award,” explained Headmaster Olen Kalkus to The Princeton Sun. “The geothermal will allow us to drastically cut our carbon footprint. Since its founding in 1999, Princeton Academy has kept stewardship of the environment in the forefront of its growth and development.”

One of the most fascinating features of the Princeton Academy campus is a greenhouse that does not demand any manmade heating. Also unique is the gymnasium, which is built into the ground and leverages the transfer of geothermal heat.

Chris Schade, the chair of the Board of Trustees, noted that this project has been an important step in the school’s attempt to achieve net zero energy. With the potential installation of solar panels, he hopes this goal will be feasible.

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