Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) had an official groundbreaking in January for a geothermal well that will provide enough energy to fully power the university campus.
While the plant will save OIT up to $500,000 a year in energy costs, and
perhaps even generate money by creating extra energy to sell on the market, it
also is an important demonstration of how geothermal energy can be
The biggest element of the project involves a new well that will be up to 6,000
feet deep, tapping into water sources as hot as 300 degrees F. A 105-foot tall
drill will install the well, which will power a generator providing between 1.5
megawatts to 3 megawatts of electrical power. ThermaSource Inc. will complete
the nearly mile-deep well.
The $8.5 million project is paid for through a combination of state and federal
funds, other grants and tax credits. It will convert the school’s existing
geothermal-produced power into a 280-kilowatt generator that will meet up to 20
percent of OIT’s energy needs.
Within a year, OIT will become the first campus in the world powered entirely
by its own renewable geothermal source. The $4.5 million high-heat plant will
produce enough energy to power the entire Klamath Falls campus and then
Eventually, the geothermal system could become part of a renewable energy park
at OIT, where students will get hands-on experience with solar, wind and
The school already saves about $1 million annually in heating costs and plans
to make about $200,000 by selling geothermal heat.
Geothermal Topics: ThermaSource Inc. Drills Well for OIT Campus
April 1, 2009