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Linn State recognizes 25 years of energy conservation
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), installing a 5 ton geothermal system is equivalent to planting 750 trees or taking two cars off the road. At Linn State Technical College (LSTC), over 350,000 square feet and over 849 tons of vertical well loops lay buried beneath the parking lots and landscaping on the main college campus in Linn, Missouri.
Linn State Technical College, “Missouri’s Only State Technical College”, has
been using geothermal energy for almost 25 years.
“As early as 1985, the college started constructing geothermal wells for the aviation building,” said John Nilges, LSTC Vice President, Administration and Finance. “It was the first building to be built on the new campus.”
Now 25 years later, ninety-five percent of the academic buildings and on-campus housing use geothermal energy.
LSTC and Three Rivers Electric Cooperative are recognized leaders in the Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) industry. LSTC has received over $150,000 in rebates as a result of the GSHP Program from Three Rivers.
Ray Peters, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning Instructor, was the primary champion of the installation of geothermal systems at the college. “I’ve always been a believer in geothermal energy,” said Peters.
Peters worked with college administration, grant writers and developers in the early eighties to ensure the success of a geothermal system despite the naysayers that believed it was too expensive and the college would never save money.
“The college saved more money in the first year than predicted in the grant proposal,” said Peters. “From what I recall, it was close to fifty percent.”
“It was a no brainer after that,” commented Peters. “The administration agreed if it was going to save us that much money in expenses then we should be doing it.”
According to historical data provided by Three Rivers Electric Cooperative, in 1985 a conventional electric heating system would have cost $1,150 per month compared to the GSHP monthly cost of $350. A conventional electric system would have cost an additional $800 per month.
In today’s dollar, the additional monthly cost for the conventional electric over the GSHP would be $1350 per month.
Linn State prides itself on maximizing resources. Whether focusing on energy efficiency, identifying energy sources, updating program curriculum to include the latest green trends, or merely recycling paper, the college continues to seek ways to stretch dollars and resources to their fullest potential.
In a world where everyone is being encouraged to go green, Linn State isn’t going green, it’s always been green.
With more than 25 programs, Linn State Technical College is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission. LSTC has campuses in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City. LSTC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.
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