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Projects Updates for collection: Geothermal Projects

  1. Geothermal Illinois Series: Community Models

    Associated Project(s): 

    On August 12, 2021, the Illinois Geothermal Coalition hosted it's third webinar in the Geothermal Illinois Series.

    The program, Geothermal Illinois: Community Models, discussed (1) decarbonization of the energy sector with a focus on the challenge of decarbonizing commercial and residential heating, (2) geothermal energy at the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District’s Administration Facility and converting a public sector commercial building to geothermal energy, and (3) the process of designing and implementing the community-based education and group purchasing program Geothermal Urbana Champaign. 

    These topics were covered by the following presenters:

    • Scott R. Tess, Sustainability & Resilience Officer for the City of Urbana, IL
    • Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director, Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)
    • Jane Sullivan, Grants & Governmental Affairs Director, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD)

    See the recording of the webinar and slide decks:

    Additionally, the complete materials from all 3 Geothermal Illinois sessions are available for viewing:

    • July 29 - Geothermal Illinois: Research and Technology - Recording | Slides
    • August 10 - Geothermal Illinois: Campus Projects - Recording | Slides
    • August 12 - Geothermal Illinois: Community Models - Recording | Slides
  2. Geothermal Illinois - 7/29 Webinar

    Thank you to those who participated in the Geothermal Illinois webinar on 7/29! Many thanks to our presenters, Dr. Tugce Baser, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; John Freitag, Executive Director, Geothermal Alliance of Illinois; and Dr. Yu-Feng Forrest Lin, Director of Illinois Water Resources Center; Principal Research Hydrogeologist, Prairie Research Institute.

    As promised, slides are available for download here, and a recording can be found here.

    Other helpful links shared during the program:

    Please join us on August 10 and August 12 for geothermal webinars that will give us a closer look at campus projects and community models.

    For more information, please contact: 

    Nancy Esarey Ouedraogo
    Extension State Specialist, Community and Economic Development
    UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION
    https://extension.illinois.edu/
    905 S Goodwin Ave
    557 Bevier Hall MC 184
    Urbana, IL 61801
    esarey@illinois.edu
    217-244-7020

  3. Upcoming energy-themed events

    YOU are invited to iSEE's monthly TED Talk: Eco-Edition series discussion. Tomorrow (Tuesday), July 27 at 5:30 PM, Paul Foote, F&S Energy Efficiency and Conservation Specialist, will host the event and lead the July discussion on energy conservation. We will view a pre-recorded TED Talk , "The four things you need to know about the energy you use", followed by a guided discussion and roundtable. All are welcome to this (fun!) Zoom event, and I hope to see you there! Register here.

    Additionally on the topic of sustainable energy, this summer the University of Illinois Extension is hosting a series of free and online webinars on the topic of geothermal energy. There are three upcoming sessions at noon on the following dates (click the links to learn more and register): July 29 (Geothermal Energy in Illinois), on August 10 (Campus Case Study, highlighting ten existing campus geothermal projects), and August 12 (Community Case Study).

    There are many events in the coming weeks to keep you energized and engaged!

     

  4. Archived Info - Previous Project Description

    Associated Project(s): 

    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. Made possible through a strong partnership between the City of UrbanaGeothermal Alliance of Illinois, and Midwest Renewable Energy Association, Geothermal Urbana-Champaign uses several key features to lower the price of geothermal for all program participants.

    Whether you adopt geothermal this year or in five years from now, we truly hope you gain a better understanding of this technology and the energy options available to you through this program.

    Some Key Features to this Program:

    • Public Education: Throughout this program, the MREA and GAOI will hold several free, virtual, hour-long informational events where you will learn the basics of geothermal, how it can save you money, and how the geothermal group buy program works.

    • Economy of Scale: Which is just a fancy way of say “bulk purchasing.” Through the power of bulk purchasing this program’s high quality contractor is able to offer a below market price/ton. The more people that go geothermal through this program, the lower the price will be for everyone

    • Competitive Contractor Selection: Led by the MREA, with help from a local advisory committee, the competitive selection process ensures that this program’s geothermal installations are performed by a high quality contractor at a below market price

    • Community Support & Outreach: Our programs are supported by both the leaders and community members of Champaign, Piatt, and Vermilion Counties. With the help of your jurisdiction leaders, fellow community members, and you, the MREA is able to spread the word of this awesome opportunity throughout your community!

    How to Participate

    Start by watching one of our free, virtual Geothermal Power Hours. In this hour-long presentation you’ll learn the basics of geothermal, how it can save you money, and how the geothermal group buy program works. You can register for any of our winter events by clicking on the date of your choice below.

    Afterward, you can sign up for a free, no obligation site assessment and quote with this program’s contractor by filling out this short form

    The deadline to participate in this program is May 30, 2021, so don’t delay. Your geothermal journey awaits!

  5. News-Gazette article about CIF geothermal

    The News-Gazette printed this story about the geothermal at the Campus Instructional Facility: https://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/university-illinois/renewable-en...

     

    "URBANA — The University of Illinois’ glossy new building at Springfield Avenue and Wright Street represents the next step in its sustainability goals.

    The four-story, 122,000- square-foot, $75 million Campus Instructional Facility is also the biggest geothermal installation on the UI campus.

    Its geothermal system can pump 135 tons of hot or cool air into the building. That’s twice as much as the next biggest geothermal system on campus, and about 30 times the amount pumped into an average home.

    “The whole world knows about solar and wind power and things like that — hydroelectric power, too — but that’s only the electric side of energy. Energy also includes heating and cooling,” said Morgan White, director of sustainability at UI Facilities & Services. “It’s truly transformative, because it’s moving into the phase of getting us clean thermal energy and not just clean electricity.”

    Electricity provides heating and cooling as well, she said, but it’s primarily provided by natural gas, propane and other nonrenewable sources of energy.

    The key to the geothermal endeavor? Forty boreholes dug into the Bardeen Quad next to Grainger Library. They’re 20 feet apart, 6 inches wide and drilled 450 feet deep.

    Initially, the project required 60 boreholes, but UI researchers reduced that figure — and made the system financially feasible — by checking the thermal conductivity of different rock and soil layers, or the rate that heat passes through them, while considering the depth and flow rate of groundwater.

    To keep the building temperate year-round, a mixture of water and glycol circulates from a heat pump in the mechanical room into a pipe that runs up and down the underground field of boreholes.

    In winter, the pump pulls heat from the ground into the building. In summer, heat is pumped from the building back into the ground.

    “It’s like when you have a bathtub that’s a little too hot or a little too cold, and you pour some water in and stir it up,” White said.

    In all, the system reduces the building’s energy consumption by 65 percent compared to a typical heating/cooling installation, saving about $45,000 per year.

    Student initiatives helped fund the state-of-the-art thermal system. The 18-member Student Sustainability Committee, funded by the annual “Green Fee” assessed on students, allocated $375,000 — or about 13 percent of the system’s cost — to the facility’s geothermal installation.

    The building has a number of other unique features. It contains two dozen new classrooms — one of the highest figures on campus — replete with active-learning and distance-learning spaces. In the fall, engineering courses will occupy most of the space, along with math, statistics and other technical classes.

    The facility is also the first UI building funded through a public-private partnership, which allows for tax-exempt financing.

    Meanwhile, faculty and graduate students will use temperature information from a 385-foot-deep monitoring well, funded by Facilities & Services and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment, for continued research opportunities. 

    As part of the Illinois Climate Action Plan, the university plans to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Currently, around 12 percent of electricity is provided by renewable sources, like the solar and wind farms near campus, White said. But only 4.5 percent of the UI’s total energy use, counting thermal, comes from renewable sources.

    “Clean electricity is important, but it’s not enough,” White said.

    In the planning stages, the UI wasn’t supposed to start implementing geothermal systems until 2035, but a suggestion by Yu-Feng Forrest Lin of the Prairie Research Institute jump-started that process."

  6. New Innovative Classroom Space

    The Campus Instructional Facility is substantially completed and will be open and ready for use in the fall semester. The new building at the southeast corner of Springfield Avenue and Wright Street offers state-of-theart spaces, including classrooms in the round and a “test kitchen” for instructional innovation, as well as cuttingedge technology, including smart glass technology to control incoming light and the largest geothermal energy system implemented so far at the university. Dr. Mohamed Attalla and others from F&S recently toured the new 122,000 square foot building that was constructed under the public-private partnership financing model. Aiming to inspire innovations and promote teamwork, the building will initially host engineering, math, and statistics classes; student career fairs; hack-a-thons; and other collaborations.

  7. Radio interview about geothermal and clean energy

    Morgan White with Facilities and Services, Sustainability, spoke with Stevie Jay and Diane Ducey on May 10, 2021 on ESPN radio 93.5. They discussed the new Campus Instructional Facility geothermal system, other clean energy projects on campus, and the local Geothermal Urbana-Champaign program.  

  8. Podcast: Morgan White Speaks About Solar & Geothermal

    On May 10, 2021, Morgan White joined Stevie Jay Broadcasting to talk about renewable energy in the Champaign-Urbana community. In this 7 minute podcast, Morgan spoke about solar and geothermal energy initiatives by F&S and beyond!

    Listen to the podcast in the attached files!

  9. archived info - previous project description

    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. This SSC grant covers approximately 13% of the cost of the geothermal system, and this building project is the first public-private partnership on campus. As the campus works towards being carbon neutral by 2050, this project will not only reduce UIUC’s reliance on fossil fuels, but pave the way for new construction projects to use geothermal systems on campus. 

  10. F&S March 2021 Insider: Solar Farm 2.0 & Geothermal Energy

    In its March 2021 edition, the F&S Insider addressed two of UIUC's innovative sources of energy: Solar Farm 2.0 and Geothermal Energy. The story highlights the origin, installation, and wide array of benefits stemming from the projects.

    To read this story in-depth, please see the attached file below.

  11. Newsgazette Mailbag about campus renewables

    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? How many years does it take for the cost of each to be paid off? We have a growing interest in this and many homes now also have this."

    Morgan White, the UI's associate director of Facilities & Services for sustainability, has all your answers.

    As for power generation, she said that the UI's "on-campus solar arrays are now capable of producing over 25,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year and we purchase an additional 25,000 MWh/year from an off-campus wind farm in Illinois.

    "For a more comprehensive answer:

    "The (Illinois Climate Action Plan) 2020, objective 2.3.1 is: 'Use at least 140,000 MWh/year of clean power by FY25.' This objective is about clean power, which is different from clean thermal energy. As of 2020, there are three types of clean power options being pursued or used on campus.

    "1. Solar Energy on Campus: installing solar photovoltaic panels on campus property

    "2. Wind Energy on Campus: installing wind turbine generators on campus property

    "3. Power Purchase Agreements for Clean Energy: purchasing solar or wind power from off-campus

    "FYI, Solar Farm 2.0 is projected to produce 20,000,000 kWh/year. It began production at the end of January, so there will only be 5 of 12 months production in the FY21 totals (this current fiscal year)."

    As for the number of houses each can provide power for, White said, "At Facilities & Services, we use the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) for the average power use in an American home. It currently says, 'In 2019, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,649 kilowatthours (kWh).”

    "Thus, the FY20 clean power use on campus (30,635,993 kWh) was the equivalent of the power needed for 2,876 houses. Once Solar Farm 2.0 is operating for an entire year, that will be about 50,000,000 kWh/year of clean power use on campus, which is the equivalent to the power needed for 4,717 houses."

    And about whether more generation will be added, she said: "The recently released Illinois Climate Action Plan 2020 (iCAP 2020) includes a goal for increasing clean power use to 140,000 MWh/year by FY25. We are currently having internal discussions at the University of Illinois about initiating a large off-campus solar power purchase agreement to meet this goal. We are also continuing to pursue clean thermal energy solutions, such as geothermal. Additionally, large construction projects on campus are required by the state law to be LEED certified, and this will often entail the addition of clean energy systems for individual buildings."

    The payback period for each of these systems varies widely due to several factors, she said.

    "For example, the geothermal system for the Campus Instructional Facility is projected to pay for itself in 28 years, while Solar Farm 2.0 is saving money in year one," said White. "For local projects off-campus these programs are very helpful: the Solar Urbana-Champaign program typically finds solar installations to pay for themselves in six or seven years, and the Geothermal Urbana-Champaign program typically finds a geothermal system at a residential home can pay for itself within 10 years."

    https://www.news-gazette.com/toms-mailbag/toms-mailbag-feb-12-2021/artic...

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