It takes between 6,000 and 8,000 gallons of oil each year to heat Persons, Marlboro’s spacious gym and auditorium. That is about to change, as nine 500-foot-deep geothermal wells are being drilled in March 2013. The geothermal project was proposed and paid for by the Marlboro Music School and Festival that occupies campus during the summer months, but it will also be a boon to the heating bill during the winter.
The geothermal system works by circulating water through a closed loop, in and out of the wells. The groundwater in the wells never leaves the ground, but cools the system water by heat transfer, the same as a radiator. The circulating water cools the building in the hot summer months and, because the ambient temperature is so much colder than the 55-degree groundwater, helps heat the building in the winter. Although it will result in more electricity costs, because of the circulating pumps, the new geothermal system will significantly reduce Marlboro College’s carbon emissions. Something worth thinking about, while you’re playing basketball or listening to a concert.