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Geothermal Projects

This is a collection of the Geothermal Projects on campus.

Below this project collection listing is a map showing the projects which have a location. Please scroll to the bottom to see it.

Project Listing

Theme Project Status Description
Energy Campus Instructional Facility (CIF) Geothermal In Progress

When built, the University of Illinois Campus Instructional Facility (CIF) will be a four-story building dedicated to academic and classroom use. CIF will serve 31,000 students daily and will leverage sustainable design to decrease its carbon emissions. The ground source heat exchange system will consist of approximately 60 wells arrayed under the John Bardeen Quad. It will be designed to be expandable, with the ability to be connected to other buildings, allowing for multiple phases.

Energy Geothermal at Allerton Park Completed

Allerton Park was able to install a geothermal energy system at the Evergreen Lodge, with funding from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  There are opportunities for future installations of geothermal energy, when funding allows.

Energy Geothermal at President's House - Study In Progress

The President's House is provided to the University of Illinois President and his or her family.  This home is used for some formal events each year, including an event for graduating students each May.  This building is maintained by F&S, and power is supplied through the campus grid.  It has been noted that this site is a good candidate for geothermal energy, so there is a feasibility evaluation underway.

Energy Geothermal at the Energy Farm Proposed

Campus is exploring options for retrofitting Energy Farm with Deep Direct Use (DDU) geothermal energy.

Energy Geothermal at the Fruit Farm Admin Building Completed

The Fruit Farm Admin building uses geothermal energy.

Energy Geothermal at WPP In Progress

This project will involve the design, construction, and installation of a geothermal system to heat one greenhouse at the UIUC Woody Perennial Polyculture (WPP) Research Site, located near the southwest corner of Race Street and Windsor Avenue. Water circulated through geothermal piping installed in a series of 150 feet deep boreholes will capture the earth's heat (~55°F) and be transported to the surface for heating of the greenhouse.

Energy Geothermal Monitoring Well on Bardeen Quad Ongoing

Campus researchers are installing a geothermal monitoring well in the northwest corner of the John Bardeen Quad during December 2018.  The borehole will be 450 feet deep and it will allow campus to investigate the applicability of using geothermal heat exchange at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Energy Geothermal on Campus Ongoing

Geothermal energy is thermal energy stored in the Earth that humans can extract, process and then use.  Geothermal energy is cost effective, reliable, and sustainable, but has historically been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries.  Recent technological advances have expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for applications such as home heating.  Geothermal wells release greenhouse gases trapped in the earth, but these emissions are much lower than those of fossil fuels.

Energy Geothermal Test Well at Energy Farm Completed

The main objective is to provide comprehensive scientific data and analysis to help our community on evaluating the potential of using ground source heat pump system in a large scale as part of campus green energy policy. 

Energy Hydro-Systems Lab Energy Foundations In Progress

Geothermal energy foundations will be installed this summer as part of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s (CEE) Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory addition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Substantial completion of the renovation is expected in Summer 2020.

Energy ISTC Geothermal Loop Cancelled

The aim of this project is to investigate the possibility of installing an open-loop geothermal system at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). Open-loop geothermal systems takes ground water pumped through a large diameter pipe and introduces or extracts heat depending on the season. Installing such a system would give the building an opportunity to reduce total building energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 50 percent.

Energy RIPE Greenhouse with Geothermal at Research Park In Progress

Representatives from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation broke ground Wednesday, October 23 on a new, state-of-the-art greenhouse in the Research Park.

Resilience Geothermal Urbana-Champaign In Progress

Geothermal Urbana-Champaign is a public education and bulk purchasing program that makes going geothermal easier and more affordable for Champaign, Piatt, and Vermilion County home and business owners.

Map of projects

Project Updates

  • 2/17/2021

    Don't miss the Wednesday premiere of "Beyond the Elements: Life," a PBS NOVA episode that features the University's 

  • 2/16/2021

    Renewable energy at the UI "How much power is each of the renewable (University of Illinois) sources generating? How many houses can each provide power for? Are there plans to add more than what we currently have?