A Geothermal District-Heating System and Alternative Energy Research Park on the NM Tech Campus Geothermal Project

Jump to: navigation, search

Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title A Geothermal District-Heating System and Alternative Energy Research Park on the NM Tech Campus
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act: Geothermal Technologies Program
Project Type / Topic 2 Geothermal Energy Production from Low Temperature Resources, Coproduced Fluids from Oil and Gas Wells, and Geopressured Resources
Project Type / Topic 3 Low Temperature Resources
Project Description With prior support from the Department of Energy (GRED III Program), New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech) has established that this resource likely has sufficient permeability (3000 Darcies) and temperatures (80‐112 oC) to develop a campus‐wide district heating system.

NM Tech anticipates saving about $810,000 per year through reduced consumption of natural gas. The proposed system will reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 15,950 metric tons per year. It will help the state of NM achieve its goal of 20% use of renewable energy by 2020. The work plan will generate about 8 new construction jobs during the building of the District heating system.

State New Mexico
Objectives Design and implement a new district heating system for New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology's campus.
Awardees (Company / Institution) New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Awardee Website http://www.nmt.edu/
Partner 1 Los Alamos National Laboratory
Partner 2 New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Geology
Partner 3 James Witcher & Associates

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000109

DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $1,999,990.00
Awardee Cost Share $4,135,391.00
Total Project Cost $6,135,381.00

Principal Investigator(s) Mark Person, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Other Principal Investigators String representation "Gary Axen, New … and Technology" is too long.

Targets / Milestones Funds are requested to better characterize the geothermal resource. This information will be used to develop a new‐graduate level class on low‐temperature geothermal exploration at NM Tech and to improve management of the geothermal resource. This class will be offered as part of the hydrology programs distant learning curriculum within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

If flow rates are found to be sufficient, the proposed facility may also stimulate basic and applied research and development in biofuels and geomicrobiology. Plans include the development of a high‐resolution, three‐dimensional hydrothermal model of the La Jencia and Socorro Basins. The code will be used to optimize the geothermal production rates and ensure that the project does not impact nearby Socorro Spring discharge rates or water levels.

Location of Project Socorro, NM

Impacts Subject of a class at NM Tech where a MS degree emphasizing geothermal resources is being offered.  Potential savings over natural gas heating would yield a 3 year payback.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs