Geothermal Energy | Geothermal Energy Project Under Way At Missouri S&T
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Geothermal Energy | Geothermal Energy Project Under Way At Missouri S&T

Work is under way on drilling hundreds of wells for a major project that is expected to save the Missouri University of Science and Technology close to $3 million in energy costs annually in the future.

Drilling the wells is the first step to convert the university’s existing heating and cooling system to a geothermal energy system, a project that will cost an estimated $30 million.

Well drilling operations started June 4 and will continue through the fall, according to Jim Packard, director of facilities operations at Missouri ST.

About 645 wells will be drilled and more than 100 miles of piping will be installed for closed geothermal loops that will be connected to three geothermal plants around campus.

Currently, construction crews are drilling near 16th Street and Vichy Road for the northwest loop well field. Drilling also is taking place for wells in the northeast loop well field.

After crews finish the northwest and northeast loop well fields, they will move onto the south loop well field.

Packard said crews are trying to minimize the impact to parking, with only about 10 percent of university parking lots affected during well field drilling work. Information about parking lot closures can be found online at said the parking lots will be rebuilt after the well fields are finished.
At least one loop well field will be connected to one of the three plants.
One of the plants will be built at McNutt Hall and another will be located in Emerson Hall. The third plant will be built in the future James E. Bertelsmeyer Hall, the chemical and biological engineering building, to be constructed at 11th and State streets.

Packard said bids will be accepted for construction of the plants by November. Construction of the plants and Bertelsmeyer would then start in the spring, he said.

Each plant will contain heat pump chillers, supplemental cooling towers and gas-fired boilers to provide geothermal energy to 15 buildings around campus.
The northeast plant will heat and cool the Engineering Research Laboratory, Straumanis-James Hall – Materials Research Center, V.H. McNutt Hall,

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