Developers Tap Downtown Tulsa Geothermal Field For Green Heat Source

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 3:39 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa's Brady District in the downtown area is going green in more ways than one.

The next phase of construction has begun in an estimated $110.5 million investment in the Brady Arts and Greenwood Districts.

George Kaiser Family Foundation and related organizations are investing an estimated $53.1 million, with an estimated $57.4 million coming from other various projects.

Developers are creating "The Park on Brady," an urban green space with gardens, a pavilion, stage, fountain and cafe.  It will take about $8 million to convert a former parking lot into a park, which will also include a geothermal field.

This week crews began drilling 120, 500-foot wells at the site at Cameron and Cincinnati that will provide a cheaper heat source to nearby companies, including the future home of News On 6.

"You can think of these well fields out here as a big battery. We're putting energy in, we're taking energy out. And we always have the sun replenishing it. So it's like having some big electric charger in the background on this battery," said Jim Bose, International Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

Bose tells News On 6 that Tulsa isn't the only community to benefit, and he says Oklahoma companies are making the parts for these geothermal wells.

Two businesses who will benefit are the Tulsa Paper Company building and the Hardesty Arts Center.

According to a news release the geothermal field is being developed with a $2.5 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Energy Demand Reduction grant and a $200,000 Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Brownfield Development grant.

The drilling phase will last approximately 45 working days, with excavation and core drills for outlets to take three to four months.