New London thinking geothermal to lower school expenses

March 22, 2014 by  

In an effort to curb heating and cooling expenses for city schools, New London officials are exploring tapping into geothermal energy.

Last Sunday, The Day of New London reported the city had been approached about a plan for outfitting schools and other municipal buildings with a geothermal system brought to the city administration.

The main expense for heating and cooling, after installation costs, would be limited to the electricity required to work the heat exchange pumps. The system proposed for New London extracts heat from water that has passed through underground wells. In nearby Waterford, which has four of its five schools using the system, 150 wells going a depth of 500 feet under the schools’ parking lots are used.

JDN Associates, a workforce development firm, has proposed financing the new system with the city paying for the heating and cooling over a 20-year period. In this way, both the city and JDN Associates would profit financially. The city would pay less for heating and cooling and would pay no upfront costs.

If the city goes ahead, it is anticipated that it will start with a pilot project of an elementary school and surrounding buildings. For a 100,000 square foot building, the initial costs is about $1m.

If the city decides the proposal has merit, brochure printers will no doubt need to be used to help the citizens of New London understand the particulars.