Geothermal projects abound in Connecticut

Posted on: May 9th, 2014
Geothermal projects abound in Connecticut

Geothermal projects abound in Connecticut

States across the United States are creating renewable programs that will expand the presence of geothermal energy systems. In the northeast, Connecticut is one of those states that is increasing the presence of renewables and saving money. According to the Connecticut Geothermal Association, as of November 2013, there are 60 major geothermal projects occurring within the state.

Tolland’s school system goes green
The most recent addition to the list is the town of Tolland’s plan to switch two of its schools to geothermal technology in the coming months. According to the Tolland Town Hall, after the application of green grants and rebates for the installation of the geothermal system, the investment will cost the town less than a traditional new oil or gas unit. In conjunction with the decrease in operational costs from less maintenance expenditures and no need to purchase energy from a utility, the school is able to save considerably.

The source claims that 40 wells will be drilled in the parking lot, with each well being about 400-feet deep. The earth stays about 50° F throughout the year, which means that the school will never get too cold or too warm as the temperature outside changes with the seasons. The geothermal closed-loop system will transport water throughout the earth and into the structure in a continuous circle. A geothermal heating and cooling system used in the school takes advantage of the solar energy stored within the earth. Using the energy located directly under the structure, the school district is able to decrease its reliance on traditional energy resources like oil and natural gas, which continue to rise in cost each year.

Camp Horizons invests in geothermal solutions
Horizons, a camp dedicated to developmentally disabled children and adults based in South Windham, is currently having a geothermal heating and cooling system installed. WNPR reported that the system is expected to drastically decrease the operational costs associated with the organization. The first installation of a geothermal heat pump that serves a 6,000-square-foot Education and Employment Center facility was completed in June 2012. The second phase of the geothermal installation is currently in the planning stages.

Guy Wanegar, President of the Connecticut Geothermal Association, told the news source that geothermal is a great solution to the state’s energy needs. He stated that installers don’t have to dig too deeply to find a stable earth temperature because once you reach six feet down, the earth or soil temperature stays at 50° F.

“That heat pump can take the 50 degree soil temperature, the loop temperature that we’re getting, and boost it to heat or cool the building,” Wanegar told WNPR.

A number of state and federal tax credits and incentives are in place until 2016 for property owners who want to take advantage of the power of geothermal energy. This eco-friendly solution is able to save commercial and residential property owners considerable money in utility and maintenance costs and decrease the environmental impact of a structure.

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