Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ball State University Replaces Coal Fired Boilers With Geothermal Energy

The first phase of the geothermal heating and cooling system at the 660 acre, 47 building Muncie, Indiana campus of Ball State University was dedicated March 21, 2012. Completion of this half of the project will save the University $1 million per year in heating and cooling expense, and cut in half the amount of coal burned annually by the University. Once the entire project is finished, four old coal fired boilers will be completely eliminated, and 5.5 million square feet of office, dormitory and classroom space in all 47 buildings will be heated and cooled by means of 3,600 geothermal bore holes across the campus.

At the dedication ceremony, U. S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu  touted the project, assisted by a $5 million stimulus construction grant, as a fine example of President Obama’s energy policy: “The President has made clear that we need an all of the above approach to American Energy, an approach that uses homegrown and alternative energy sources designed and produced by American workers.” Nearly all components of Ball State’s project were made in the USA, and 50 different Indiana companies were contracted to complete the project.

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