This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Energy Department Recognizes Oregon Institute of Technology for Renewable Energy Use
The Energy Department on April 23 recognized the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) for boosting its use of clean energy at the first U.S. campus in to be heated by geothermal energy, achieving a major milestone toward its goal of making all seven schools in the Oregon University System carbon-neutral by 2020. Partially through Energy Department support, the Klamath Falls campus will utilize 1.5 megawatts (MW) of newly installed geothermal capacity combined with a 2 MW solar array, making OIT the first university in North America to generate most of its electrical power from renewable sources.
The school’s Geo-Heat Center has been tapping its geothermal resources to heat campus buildings for nearly fifty years. Beginning in 2008, the Energy Department helped fund further development of the geothermal resources beneath the campus and supported the purchase of an initial 280 kilowatt (kW) geothermal power system. By 2010, the small binary unit was producing power for the school’s facilities, and the groundwork was laid to utilize additional geothermal energy through an Energy Department investment of $3.5 million, with a matching cost-share by the university. See the Energy Department news release.