The Missouri University of Science and Technology broke ground on one of three geothermal energy projects designed to cut the campus’ yearly energy use in half by 2014.
The projects are supposed to replace the university’s coal-fired power plant, which was built in 1945. The plant had a backlog of about $26 million in deferred maintenance costs for the plant, including replacement of boilers, steam lines and other infrastructure.
Each of the three geothermal plants will contain heat pump chillers, supplemental cooling towers and gas-fired boilers to provide geothermal energy to surrounding areas of campus. The plants are also expected to reduce the campus’ carbon dioxide emissions by 25,000 metric tons annually and reduce water usage by 8 million gallons per year, or 10 percent, according to a release from the school. The system will allow energy to be stored in a reclaimed from 600 well fields around campus.
Construction on the first plant is expected to begin in May 2012 and be completed by 2014. Upon completion of the geothermal project, the coal-fired power plant’s boilers will be decommissioned.
Read more geothermal energy news