Colorado State University
You may find yourself doing a double take while walking or driving by the intramural fields for the next couple of weeks, starting Dec. 9. Yes, that is a drilling rig. No, Colorado State University is not fracking, nor is Hollywood filming for a remake of the Beverly Hillbillies.
Quite the contrary: Instead of searching for natural gas or oil, the drilling is a major step in CSU’s comprehensive renewable energy initiative. The rig will be drilling deep into the Earth – 500 feet or so – in a test bore that is a precursor to the installation of what will be the largest ground-source heating and cooling system in Colorado, and one of the largest in the western United States.
Dubbed GeoX, the project will employ geothermal energy – also called ground source heat pump – for heating and cooling, to reduce energy consumption and costs. GeoX has been in the planning stages at CSU for nearly a decade and will replace the current outdated steam heating system in the 50-year-old Moby Arena, Fum McGraw Center, Anderson Academic Center, Health and Exercise Science, the intramural gym, and the yet-to-be constructed Meridian Village.