The town of Lakeview is putting the finishing touches on its new geothermal heating system. As Oregon Public Broadcasting's David Nogueras reports, the system is being used to heat the town's four schools as well as its hospital.
At 185 degrees Fahrenheit, the water coming out the geothermal well is scalding hot.
Both the school system and the hospital had to retrofit their old systems to draw the heat off that water before it’s circulated back into the well.
The system costs about $3.7 million. With most of that money coming from a 40-year fixed loan from the US Department of Agriculture.
Town manager Ray Simms says the money generated by selling the heat to the school and the hospital systems will be used to pay off the loan. He says both districts are projecting significant savings in their heating costs.
"And in our school district saving somewhere between a hundred and a hundred fifty thousand dollars a year that they're able to put into some other needs that they have, just makes all kind of sense," says Simms.
Simms says the system could be expanded in the coming years to bring even more customers online.