Since beginning operation in 2014, the Missouri S&T Geothermal Energy Project has served the heating and cooling needs of 17 buildings and augmented the campus chilled-water system, which serves many of the university’s ancillary facilities.
Initially, the system was projected to save over $1 million in energy and operational costs annually. That savings is expected to grow to $2.8 million annually over 30 years.
The system includes 789 wells with pipes creating closed geothermal loops serving three primary campus geothermal plants and a satellite geothermal system. The primary plants are housed in the Straumanis-James, McNutt, and Bertelsmeyer Halls, while the satellite system is in the Gale Bullman Rec Center. Each of the plants contain heat pump chillers that provide geothermal energy to surrounding areas of campus. Supplemental cooling towers and gas-fired boilers are integrated into the new systems to ensure stabilized operating temperatures, even under the most demanding load requirements.