Large Scale GSHP as Alternative Energy for American Farmers Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Large Scale GSHP as Alternative Energy for American Farmers
Project Type / Topic 1 Recovery Act – Geothermal Technologies Program: Ground Source Heat Pumps
Project Type / Topic 2 Topic Area 1: Technology Demonstration Projects
Project Description We propose a large scale demonstration of solar assisted GSHP systems on two poultry farms in mid-Missouri. The heating load of Farm A with 4 barns will be 510 tons and Farm B with 5 barns will be 440 tons. Solar assisted GSHP systems will be installed, and new utility business model will be applied to both farms. Farm A will be constructed with commercial products in order to bring immediate impact to the industry. Farm B will also have a thermal energy storage system installed, and improved solar collectors will be used. A comprehensive energy analysis and economic study will be conducted.

The Micro Green Utility business service model will be demonstrated though partnership with poultry organizations and financial institutions. In this model, the investor has clear ownership of the system, and provides hot water and chilled water as fixed rate utility services. This arrangement will total remove the technical risk of GSHP technologies, and remove the farming business risk associated with fluctuating fuel prices.

PI Xu has many years experience in large scale GSHP for commercial and industrial applications. The technology and business models proposed here have been partially proven through his past experience. A partnership of the University of Missouri, Holliday Investment, Inc., Missouri farmers, poultry companies and the Poultry Federation, and the experience of the team ensure project success.

The proposed demonstration will have significant impacts on the U.S. poultry industry. These include the following: (a) Poultry farms will be a unique application area for GSHP technologies making agriculture a largest sector comparable with commercial and residential. (b) Our model will reduce the initial cost by 30-40% and improve energy efficiency of GSHP up to 80% through integrating solar energy with GSHP. (c) Affordable solar assisted GSHP system applications on 10% of American poultry farms will create 650 million pounds of poultry production increasing, $300-500 billion in new business, and create more than 500,000 new job opportunities in engineering, construction, manufacturing, and financial services. (d) The model eliminates the need for government incentives. Lower initial cost and high efficiency through technology improvements and large scale and large number of applications will demonstrate the economic viability of the system. Private investment, rather than government incentives, will play a domain role in the market.

State Missouri
Objectives - Construct solar assisted ground source heat pumps (GSHP) on two poultry farms as replacement of existing propane heating system.

- Demonstrate that GSHP technology is affordable, can reduce utility bills, remove the highest risk of the farming business and increase production through environmental control.

Awardees (Company / Institution) University of Missouri
Legal Name of Awardee The Curators of the University of Missouri
Awardee Website
Partner 1 Holliday Investment
Partner 2 Poultry Federation

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000116
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $2,476,400.00
Awardee Cost Share $2,698,500.00
Total Project Cost $5,174,900.00

Principal Investigator(s) Shawn Y. Xu
Other Principal Investigators Chris Holliday
Targets / Milestones - Demonstrate a cost effective GSHP for the American poultry farming industry;

- Develop a new business model to expedite GSHP application
- Provide utility services to farms to reduce uncertainty about utility rates and allow farmers to finance GSHPs with confidence
- Create job opportunities in GSHP engineering, construction, financing, and manufacturing and stimulate the local and national economy
- Reduce green house gas emissions by replacing fossil fuel with GSHP.

Location of Project Holliday, MO, Bunceton, MO
, 38.7881°, -92.7994°

Impacts Extremely innovative project that offers potential to identify new applications of GHPs in farm applications and in rural areas.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs