Dartmouth College will be drilling test wells in four sites to assess the viability of developing an on-campus geothermal heating system.
Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, is set to test the viability of a potential on-campus geothermal heating system. The test will start with the drilling of test wells in four sites in the campus. The drilling is scheduled to start on September 27 and will last for two to three weeks.
“Our geothermal investigation is an important part of our larger transition to renewable energy systems, which is going to shape the future of Dartmouth for the next 100 years in terms of how we are going to heat and cool our buildings,” said Julia Pfeiffer, program manager for Dartmouth’s energy infrastructure renewal.
The implementation of a geothermal heating system is part of a larger strategy for Dartmouth to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Other measures include the upgrading of aging buildings and infrastructure, exploring large-scale solar projects, and transitioning from steam heating to hot water heating.
Long-term plans involve the construction of a geothermal well field that could have hundreds of wells drilled to depths of 200 to 800 feet. However, Pfeiffer says that this is likely at least six months to a year off. The university is planning to conduct tests on these wells to characterize the flow, temperature, and geology of the potential resource.