- Public Works
The City of Klamath Falls Geothermal Utility provides cost effective heating services utilizing a non-polluting "green" resource. Klamath Falls is in a Known Geothermal Resource Area (KGRA). Utilizing geothermal water, the City operates a geothermal utility system which provides heating services to 23 commercial, non-profit and government facilities throughout the downtown core area as well as geothermal sidewalk and bridge snow melt systems. The sidewalk and bridge snow melt systems provide safety and convenience throughout the winter months that would not be obtainable without low-cost geothermal energy.
Two hot water wells located on Old Fort Road provide geothermal fluid to the heating system. The geothermal water ranges in temperature from 200 to 220 degrees and is conveyed from the production wells through about one mile of 8-inch and 12-inch pipeline to the heat exchanger facility. A geothermal well at the heat exchanger facility is used as the re-injection well where the geothermal fluid is re-injected back into the aquifer so not to deplete the resource.
Heat transfer from production to the distribution district heating loop is through 2 heat exchangers located at the heat exchanger facility located on Wall Street and Spring Street near the Klamath County Museum.
The district heating system is a closed loop system consisting of approximately two miles of 8-inch and 12-inch supply and return pipeline. Make-up water for the closed loop system is supplied from the City water system. Clean water is circulated through the heat exchanger building. Heating service is provided for space heating and sidewalk snow melt throughout the downtown heating district.
Numerous upgrades have been completed including rehabilitating the Number 2 geothermal well, replacing expansion joints on the production pipeline, installing a third circulation pump on the distribution system, replacing leaking 8-inch and 10-inch steel mainlines and adding supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system controls. These improvements are intended to improved reliability and operational control and monitoring.
Timbermill Shores development phase 1 has added an additional 60,000 square feet of sidewalk snowmelt and up to 333,000 square feet of floor area heat. An additional 60,000 square feet of sidewalk snowmelt may be added with completion of phase 2.
The most significant benefit of geothermal heating is the reduced energy cost compared to alternate heating sources.