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  • 17 May 2012 6:00 PM | Ben Northcutt
    Just weeks before new legislation will change the GEO into the Colorado Energy Office, GEO Director TJ Deora announced his resignation yesterday. Along with approved funding of $3 million, the new Energy Office will change its mission to include traditional fossil fuel energy as well as the renewable sector, which had been the primary focus of GEO under previous governor Bill Ritter's administration. Read more.
  • 17 May 2012 5:41 PM | Ben Northcutt

    One thing the GHP industry lacks is an easy to use online database of residential projects with performance data.  Now there is a way you can post your projects online and see actual, real time data, along with other homes throughout the US.  Such a database can help educate potential customers and increase their confidence by seeing live performance data form homes similar to theirs.  Through a grant from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, meters are available on a free or low cost basis.  Once a meter is installed you can post your project to a gallery that provides a variety of residential data.  It also gives you a handy tool to track your projects for follow up calls, trouble shooting and customer service.  For more information contact David Neale at or 585 420 8998.

  • 17 May 2012 5:40 PM | Ben Northcutt

    Originally constructed in 1918, the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction has been selected by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to become the first completely energy independent (net zero) building on the National Register of Historic Places.  With oversight of 1,520 real estate assets, the GSA views this project as a test case for implementing deep-energy retrofit techniques that can be used in existing buildings.  The design/build team is led by the Beck Group who is working with Westlake Reed Leskosky to achieve LEED Platinum certification for the nearly 100 year old building.  GHPs will play an integral role in reducing energy use by tapping 32 boreholes in adjacent parking areas.  Other features include a roof top solar array, upgraded insulation, improved daylighting, state-of-the-art fluorescent and LED lighting technology and variable refrigerant flow systems.

  • 17 May 2012 5:39 PM | Ben Northcutt

    If you’ve ever wondered how a geothermal plant works, Wasabi Energy, a clean energy company based in Melbourne, Australia, has produced an easy to understand video that describes how Kalina Cycle technology produces both electricity and district heating for a community in Germany.  Watch video.  

  • 17 May 2012 5:38 PM | Ben Northcutt
    Yet another way to tap ‘waste’ energy . . . Using a 1 million BTU/hour water source heat pump, the Philadelphia Water Company is testing a wastewater geothermal heating system installed by NovaThermal Energy. Using proprietary Chinese technology, the system transfers heat directly from an adjacent sewage channel to provide heat for the building at a savings of 40 – 50%. In China, where the technology was pioneered, the systems have been successfully installed in hotels, train stations and high rise apartments. Article  In a similar application, the city of Avon, Colorado heats its recreation center pool with heat transferred from its waste water treatment facility.  Article 
  • 17 May 2012 5:38 PM | Ben Northcutt

    Just as Ball State is completing its massive 47 building geothermal project, the Missouri University of Science and Technology recently broke ground on a geothermal system that, like Ball State, will replace the university’s coal-fired heating plant. When completed in 2014, 15 buildings will be hooked up to the GHP system which is expected to save $1 million annually in energy and operating costs, possibly as much $2.8 million/year in the years ahead.  The system will reduce carbon emissions by 25,00 metric tons/year.  This short video provides a very good overview of the project.

  • 17 May 2012 5:37 PM | Ben Northcutt

    From California to New England, states are beginning to recognize thermal energy as a renewable resource, offering utilities another option for complying with Renewable Energy Standards. The State of Maryland just passed a Geothermal Heating and Cooling bill which makes GHPs an accepted technology for utilities to use toward earning Renewable Energy Credits. The newly formed California Geothermal Heat Pump Coalition is supporting legislative action that would require the CA Public Utilities Commission to identify and address existing barriers to the widespread deployment of geothermal heat pumps and solar heating and cooling technologies. Massachusetts recently commissioned a study that explores the potential impacts and opportunities of developing renewable thermal markets. In Colorado, state Senator Gail Schwartz presented a resolution that requested the Governor’s Energy Office to evaluate the landscape of renewable thermal heating and cooling technologies which could ultimately lead to legislative action. Such thermal energy policies bode well for accelerated use of GHPs.

  • 17 May 2012 5:36 PM | Ben Northcutt

    In a recent CoGEHPA survey, when asked what installation factors have the largest negative impact on a customer’s confidence in a GHP system, 60% of the respondents said “System installed by an unqualified or poorly trained contractor.”  In an effort to improve customer confidence and the overall performance of GHP systems, CoGEHPA, in cooperation with the Geothermal Exchange Organization and the U.S. Dept. of Energy, has developed a framework for a national personnel certification standard that specifies competency requirements for various GHP installation and design job descriptions. The framework establishes the components for the Standard including Personnel Qualifications for Installation and Design, Personnel Responsibilities, and basic steps for the Certification Process. Once fully developed, the Standard will set a high bar for industry certification programs to identify well qualified GHP professionals.

  • 17 May 2012 5:35 PM | Ben Northcutt

    At the recent Global New Energy Summit in Colorado Springs, ICOSA Magazine interviewed Hank Held, principal investor for Mt. Princeton Geothermal LLC, whose company is poised to become the first developer of geothermal power production in Colorado. His company seeks to utilize relatively small (10 – 15 megawatt), distributed geothermal power plants that can tie directly into existing transmission infrastructure. This model allows for faster deployment of the plants and at less cost. In the interview, Hank also talks about the complex regulatory environment and notes that there are no existing guidelines to help communities address geo power development. He also describes some of the advantages of the technology his company will use, including an extremely small footprint for the above ground plant components.  Watch video.

  • 02 May 2012 10:50 AM | Ben Northcutt
    These are the most common questions a potential geothermal heat pump customer asks. A price and a number of years are rarely the best replies when answering these questions.  CoGEHPA Director Al Wallace takes a look at how to evaluate a GHP system like you would any investment, using the metrics of internal rate of return and net present value.  Read article.  Al will be providing a much more in depth look at this topic when he presents the free goGeoNow Seminar "GHPs in Sustainable Design: Trends, Best Practices and Benefits for LEED Certification," on May 24 in downtown Denver.  

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