Master-Planned Community Goes with Geothermal Heat Pump Closed-Loop System

January 26, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

Bosch energy manageA new 1,500-acre, master-planned, mixed-use community being developed in Richland, Wash., will utilize a geothermal heat-pump system for heating and cooling every new home, and will offer a compatible hot water solution, supplied by Bosch. Orca Energy, a geothermal utility provider, will supply the geothermal loop infrastructure.

The community will include 5,000 new energy-smart homes, apartments, commercial and retail space, recreational spaces and schools.

Bosch partnered with Orca Energy to provide the Orca ‘thermal service model’ in which a homeowner pays a one-time connection fee (typically offset by the geothermal related utility, state, or federal financial incentives and rebates) along with a monthly utility charge (MUC), billed on a quarterly basis. The MUC consists of a capacity charge and a variable monthly energy charge indexed to the Consumer Price Index. The MUC is initially set at or below actual energy savings as compared to using a traditional home heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Homeowners have no incremental upfront or maintenance costs associated with the geothermal system. Orca provides additional flexibility for the homeowner with an option to purchase the ground-loop infrastructure from Orca after the first 5 years.

Bosch geothermal heat-pumps will be connected from each home to the Orca installed ground-loop infrastructure system, which consists of boreholes that utilize the earth’s stored energy. Homes in Badger Mountain South that utilize Bosch heat-pump water heaters to supply whole house hot water will further leverage the benefits of a geothermal solution.

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