Geothermal Sidewalks in Southern Oregon

As geothermal technology continues to evolve throughout the United States (and the world), so do its innovative uses. In southern Oregon, the town of Klamath Falls has been utilizing geothermal energy to heat its sidewalks since the early ’90s. As you can imagine, this setup comes in handy when the heavy snows, sleets, and frosts cover the roads and sidewalks in the winter. Those of you with heated driveways know what we’re talking about. If the snow isn’t completely melted, its integrity is certainly compromised, making for a much more feasible shoveling or clearing job.

Check out the photo below, where you can see the mini loop-fields that circulate hot water beneath the sidewalks. It’s an intricate system that takes time and funding to install – yes. In reality, though, it’s a big time money saver for towns like Klamath Falls, Oregon.

geothermal sidewalks

Source: http://geothermal.marin.org/geopresentation/sld088.htm

The town’s use of geothermal energy doesn’t stop at sidewalks. In addition, it uses geothermal to heat various buildings (including schools, greenhouses, and a hospital), for power from a small geothermal power plant, and of course, to heat residential homes. Homeowners in Klamath Falls are more than happy to save thousands of dollars a year on their heating bills by going green.

Many will agree that towns like this one have set the standard for new and upcoming towns that seek to make the best use of their natural resources to keep costs low for residents.  Going green is an additional benefit.  With advancements in the installation process and requirements for geothermal wells, geothermal energy is a perfectly realistic option for thousands of communities across the United States.  As we always say – the sooner, the better.

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