At the Ball-Chatham School Board meeting on Nov. 24, the district received an energy efficiency grant check for $50,000 for a new geothermal heating and cooling system for Glenwood Middle School. The grant was obtained by Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC), through the GeoAlliance program.
GeoAlliance is a collaboration between the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) in Springfield and Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation in Chicago (ICECF). ICECF provides the funding for the grants and the AIEC is the program administrator. The funding is passed down from the association to Illinois electric cooperatives that in turn re-grant the funding to their not-for-profit members.
The new Geothermal Variable Refrigerant Flow systems provide room-by-room control of heating and cooling, and can even provide heat in one room while cooling another when needed. Each classroom has a ceiling mounted ductless fan coil, which is connected to tubing carrying a refrigerant gas to and from the central geothermal compressors.