Heat Beneath Our Feet: Carbondale to hold geothermal open house April 24

The team behind a proposed district geothermal demonstration project in Carbondale will host a workshop and community open house on Wednesday, April 24. The free “Heat Beneath Our Feet” event at Carbondale’s Third Street Center will consist of two parts, a community open house and a workshop for industry professionals.

The Carbondale Community Geothermal Coalition is currently conducting a feasibility and design study to build what’s known as a community thermal energy network, which would heat and cool a 16-acre section of Carbondale comprising a mix of institutional and residential buildings.

Led by CLEER (the nonprofit that runs Garfield Clean Energy’s programs), the project is one of only 11 nationwide to receive an initial feasibility study and design grant through the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office.

Test drilling behind the Third Street Center last October was the first major step of the geothermal feasibility study.

Community members are encouraged to attend the family-friendly open house from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be several Q & A stations to learn about “The Heat Beneath Our Feet” principles and the proposed Carbondale project, and kids will be able to have fun with a craft table and participate in a science activity hosted by the Aspen Science Center. Pizza and snacks will be provided.

Industry professionals – planners, engineers, architects, public officials, builders and developers – and anyone interested in the detailed aspects of district geothermal ground-source systems are invited to the geothermal workshop from 3 to 5 p.m. Presenters will include Holy Cross Energy CEO Bryan Hannegan and representatives of CLEER, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and The Grey Edge Group (the geothermal consultant for the project). A moderated panel with facilitated group discussion will follow.

The Carbondale Community Geothermal Coalition includes the Town of Carbondale, Roaring Fork School District, Carbondale Branch Library, CLEER and the Third Street Center.