August 21, 2009

Geothermal project nearing completion

Geothermal project nearing completion
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR
A massive geothermal heating and cooling installation project currently under way at Fort Berthold Community College is expected to bring decades of efficient energy use to the growing campus of higher learning.
The college recently secured a Title III federal grant of $2,173,720 to install the system throughout the 70,000-foot campus that will heat the campus in winter and cool classrooms during summer sessions. The building permit alone to the city of New Town cost more than $10,000.
“It’s a very major project for this college,” said facilites manager Keith Smith. “It’s converting a propane heating system into a geothermal well system.”
Prior to the grant, Smith said the propane bill was approaching $100,000 but will be a fraction of that when the system is operating at peak efficiency.
Numerous heat pumps and water lines have already been installed and when the finishing touches are placed on the system expected this week, FBCC staff will be taught how to troubleshoot any problems that might occur.
Andover Control Energy Tech Systems is monitoring the system and will perform maintenance if and when it is needed.
“The system is advanced for a maintenance staff like us,” Smith said. “We don’t have the training so we have a contract with Andover.”
 


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