Ball State University has completed its campus-wide ground-source geothermal system, the nation's largest geothermal heating and cooling system, DOE announced on March 20. DOE played a part in the project by providing a $5 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Indiana-based univserity anticipates saving $2 million annually in operating costs and cutting its carbon footprint by nearly 50% with the project.
Launched in 2009, Ball State's geothermal system replaces four aging coal-fired boilers to provide renewable power that will heat and cool 47 university buildings, comprising 5.5 million square feet on the 660-acre campus. To provide heating, geothermal heat pumps use a fluid to transfer heat from the Earth to buildings. For cooling, the pumps remove heat from buildings and transfer it back into the Earth. See the DOE Progress Alert and the Buildings Technologies Program website.