BW Receives $500,000 Grant to Help Fund Geofield for Conservatory

January 1, 2012

Baldwin Wallace University is the recipient of a $500,000 grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Development as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Energy program.

The award, one of only 15 Ohio projects funded, will be used to help provide environmentally friendly geothermal heating and cooling for the renovation of the College's Conservatory of Music.

Scheduled for completion in fall 2011, the 15-month renovation and new construction of the four-building Conservatory of Music includes installation of 54 geothermal wells.

The wells, buried 520 feet underground, will provide energy efficient heating/cooling through the use of the earth as a source of energy. The grant will fund geothermal heating/cooling for two of the Conservatory buildings.

"This is wonderful news," said BW President Richard Durst. "It is another important step as we move toward our goal of creating a campus that recognizes the value of sustainability. Four years ago we made a commitment to being a leader in this area. This grant is an affirmation of the progress we are making."

Leader in Geothermal Heating/Cooling
Baldwin Wallace was the first Ohio college to use geo-exchange technology to heat and cool a residence hall (Ernsthausen Hall in 2005). Since then, geofields have been installed to support the Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation and now the Conservatory of Music.  With this project, six campus buildings will utilize geothermal heating/cooling.

For every kilowatt of electrical energy used, a geothermal heat pump provides up to five kilowatts in heat energy. Installation of the geothermal system for the two Conservatory buildings will provide an annual energy cost savings of over $28,000 and an annual energy saving of 804 million BTU. 

Last month the College was recognized for its foresight and commitment to sustainability. In consideration of having reduced its fossil fuel energy consumption by 60 percent in buildings using geothermal heating/cooling and for other initiatives aimed at sustainability, BW was the recipient of a Crain's Cleveland Business 2011 Emerald Award.

Grant Aimed at Accelerating Renewable Energy Development in Ohio
The grant to BW was part of $96 million allocated to Ohio through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Energy Program.

Selection was based on a competitive review process. Awarded projects exemplify the goals of the Recovery Act's State Energy Program to accelerate renewable energy development in Ohio by creating or preserving jobs and reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.