Thermal Energy Network (TEN) Symposium a Big Success!

Scientists project that the U.S. geothermal energy will contribute to 10% of the country’s energy by 2050.

Rochester, MN has long been known as the home to the Mayo Clinic, and the Destination Medical Center (DMC) that has earned itself a reputation that warrants respect and is the Holy Grail of medical facilities worldwide. Because of this, the people of Rochester have embraced the spirit of putting themselves at the forefront of implementing technologies and systems that will set a precedent for people, communities, and organizations everywhere.

Rochester's architectural beauty also shines through its diverse array of buildings. Historic landmarks like the Plummer Building with its Chateau design to modern marvels like the Mayo Civic Center, which hosted a very special event this year.

What is it that’s causing so much commotion in the City of Rochester?

The answer is simple; Thermal Energy Networks (TENs).

In a nutshell, Thermal Energy Networks, or TENs, are utility-scale thermal energy infrastructure projects connecting multiple buildings into a shared network with thermal energy sources such as geothermal boreholes, surface water, and wastewater. In many ways, it’s just as straightforward as it sounds and the results are clear; TENs will make a massive impact on decarbonizing Rochester, offer more reliable and efficient energy exchange to the buildings in the network, and make Rochester eligible for the financial benefits and subsidies of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Rochester is a place that experiences all four seasons; therefore, it can experience frigid days as well as hot days. Heat pump efficiency declines as the source temperature outside drops or increases dramatically during summer and winter seasons.  The more extreme the temperature, the more an air source heat pump product will struggle against those hot and cold spells to deliver heating and cooling. By struggle, we are talking about remarkable spikes in energy consumption.

The Thermal Energy Network Symposium certainly made a splash, showcasing Rochester and even earning a spot on the local TV news with interviews featuring Scot Ramsey, Manager of Facilities & Property, City of Rochester, and Bryant Jones of executive director of Geothermal Rising, the organizer of the event. The Symposium has set the foundation for continued Thermal Energy Network gatherings throughout the country in coming decades.

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