Boise's geothermal energy to heat Boise State campus
Boise State turned on geothermal heat on the Boise State campus, a project that has been in the works for 30 years. According to Vince Tromboli with the City of Boise, extending geothermal service across the river to Boise State has been a primary goal since the City’s system began operating in 1983.
"Boise Mayor David Bieter along with Boise State President Bob Kustra and officials from US Representative Mike Simpson and US Senator Mike Crapo’s offices took part in a ceremony to 'turn on' the system Friday morning, November 16 in front of the Micron Business and Economics Building," said Tromboli. "The geothermal water is piped across the river underneath the Capitol Boulevard Bridge and is used in nine buildings on campus."
Approximately 600,000 square feet of building space on the Boise State campus are now heated by geothermal energy. The Administration Building, the Student Union Building and the Environmental Research Building, along with the Morrison Center, the Multipurpose Class Room, the Interactive Learning Center, the Math and Geosciences Building and the Micron Business and Economics Building are all connected to the system.
“It’s wonderful to see the expansion of Boise’s geothermal system, one of our city’s greatest natural assets,” Mayor Bieter said. “By extending this clean and efficient form of energy across the river, we are helping Boise State become more sustainable, lowering its energy costs, and making this rare amenity available to more private businesses. This project could not have been done without the partnership between the City, Boise State, and our congressional delegation, and it demonstrates the kind of success that can be achieved by working together toward a common goal.”
According to Tromboli, the City of Boise has operated a geothermal district heating system since 1983.
"Natural geothermal water around 170 degrees is pumped from the ground near St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, distributed through the downtown area and re-injected into the geothermal aquifer near Julia Davis Park," said Tromboli. "The system now serves 81 buildings, heating approximately 3.8 million square feet of building space. Several buildings benefiting from this low-cost, environmentally-friendly heating source are publicly owned, including the Federal Courthouse, City Hall, Boise High School and the Ada County Courthouse. In the course of a year, the system circulates more than 220 million gallons of water through approximately 13 miles of pipeline."