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The "Other" Geothermal Space-Heating System in Elko, Nevada

Dale C. Bugenig, David Scolari, Previous HitJonTop Vietti

In February 1985, the Elko County School District completed a 1,971-ft deep geothermal well at the site of the Elko Junior High School, Elko, Nevada. Aquifer stress test results indicated that the well could sustain artesian flows of as much as 325 gal/min of 190°F water. Because the productivity of the well, up to 15 × 106 Btu/hr, far exceeded the heating demand of the junior high school, a district space-heating scheme was conceived to heat additional school-district facilities, a hospital, convention center, municipal swimming pool, and city offices. Estimated savings to the public entities involved and, ultimately, the taxpayers in Elko were projected at $285,000 annually. Approximately one mile of distribution lines were laid and 13 buildings wer retrofitted to geothermal heating in time for the 1986-1987 heating season. The system is the second for Elko, the first being the Elko Heat Company that serves commercial users in the downtown area.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91040©1987 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Boise, Idaho, September 13-16, 1987.