Texas has the largest geothermal development in the US
EcoSmart Solution, a leader in green energy services, recently built the largest GeoGrid geothermal heating and cooling infrastructure in the U.S. Located in Austin, Texas it is a new housing development called Whisper Valley. The infrastructure pulls heat from the earth to heat and cool entire neighborhoods instead of single homes. The development led to construction of 400 zero-energy capable homes with some residents seeing energy bills as low as $1.
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A large network of geothermal pipes are used to cool homes in Texas summers and heat them in the winters. This is especially useful to Texans concerned about energy grid reliability, such as last winters’ storms causing power outages. Furthermore, geothermal pipes aren’t damaged by ice aboveground like electrical lines.
While they don’t provide electricity, they do keep the heat running during power outages. This prevents wide-scale flooding damage seen during that storm from burst frozen pipes. Also, heat is the number-one concern for residents during a cold-weather power outage. With geothermal heating, the heating of homes is no longer an issue dependent on seasonal weather.
Additionally, its efficiency reduces the costs for homeowners. More than 200 homes built in the Whisper Valley community operate off this system. There are plans for more than 7,500 homes in Austin’s tight real estate market, along with schools and commercial buildings.
Specifically, Whisper Valley is a 2,000-acre planned development comprised of residential and commercial districts. It is set among 700 acres of parks, trails, hills, streams and meadows in Texas hill country. What’s planned for the future are neighborhood services, restaurants, retail shops, office buildings, two schools and even transportation and emergency service centers.
Lastly, geothermal heat pumps reduce energy consumption for space conditioning by up to 70%. The GeoGrid installed early in the construction of Whisper Valley became part of the basic infrastructure. This also includes the community water, sewer and electric utility lines. EcoSmart has used polyethylene piping to bring the hot and cold air up from the ground. It comes with 50 years of warranty against breakage to reduce required repairs.