itself can provide a source of energy thats kind to the environment.
Summer or winter, from one decade to the next, the temperature 20 feet
or more below ground stays at a constant 62 degrees in the Tennessee
Valley. This unchanging temperature regulator now heats and cools schools,
homes, and businesses throughout the regionthanks to geothermal
a simple concept that uses underground pipes filled with plain tap water
to transfer heat. In winter, the water absorbs warmth from below the
frost line and carries it to heat pumps above ground. During the summer
months, the cooler temperature underground is brought to the surface.
Not only are these systems quiet, reliable, efficient, and compact,
they also deliver energy economically, quickly recouping the initial
cost of installation. At Daniel Boone High School in Johnson City, Tennessee,
a geothermal system has lowered the electrical bill by 40 percent. The
school installed a geothermal system because its original heating-and-cooling
system was aging, and TVA offered the county a demonstration incentive
to try the alternative energy source. The resulting savings mean that
the county can now use more of its operating budget on what matters
most: teaching children.
And thats something TVA also has a hand in. Through a program
called In Concert With the Environment, TVA and a number of Valley power
providers share energy-conservation tips with middle and junior high
school students. They monitor their families household energy
use and learn about the links between energy consumption and the environment.
One result of this award-winning program is that students and their
families adopt almost a third of its energy-saving strategies.
Whether its tapping the earths power for the next generation
or simply showing them how to use it, TVA keeps its eye on the future.
buildings use less energy than those of any other government entity.
chart for larger view and raw data.
County Vocational School in Mountain City, Tennessee, is another school
that benefits from a TVA-sponsored geothermal system. Here,
students study aquaculture in its 9,000-square-foot Alternative Farming