Colorado State Capitol Implements Geothermal

September 23, 2013

How do you make the only U.S. state capitol with LEED-EBOM certification even greener? Add renewable energy with a geothermal heating and cooling system.

The system is expected to save $100,000 in heating and cooling costs in the first year alone. It also replaces existing pumps and other equipment that dated back to the 1940s and were well beyond their estimated useful life, avoiding approximately $904,000 in replacement costs.

The project is motivated by the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires Colorado to have 30% renewable energy by 2020.

The majority of the $5.5 million system was funded by a DOE grant, with Colorado financing just under $1.5 million through an energy performance contract with system provider Chevron Energy Solutions.

The only other state capitol building to use geothermal is Idaho, which offsets its heating load with energy tapped from active hot springs.