New Mexico Tech tests the waters of geothermal heat
The university has introduced plans for a geothermal plant and graduate engineering program.
According to an Associated Press report , amongst other renewable
energy research projects, New Mexico Tech , Socorro, N.M.,
rolled out a plan to heat the university using naturally warm groundwater,
which would save the university $800,000 in natural gas bills annually.
Department of Energy has already awarded $473,000 to drill a 1,500-ft
geothermal test well; although private-sector businesses may need to help
finance the rest of the $11 million geothermal plant.
geothermal stations require very-hot groundwater to spin a turbine, New Mexico
Tech's direct-use space heating approach would use the region's warm groundwater,
and a heat exchanger to heat buildings.
lot can be done with warm groundwater," said the university's vice
president for research, Dr. Van Romero. "You can heat a fish tank or heat
a greenhouse and grow roses."
If the plant is built, it
could heat the entire campus and the university could turn the hot topic of
geothermal energy into a graduate engineering program that would complement its
already world-class hydrogeology department.