Retrofit of the Local 150 of International Union of Operating Engineers Headquarters Campus Geothermal Project

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Last modified on July 22, 2011.

Project Title Retrofit of the Local 150 of International Union of Operating Engineers Headquarters Campus
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 The Indie Energy Smart Geothermal™ hybrid retrofit of the multi-building headquarters campus of the Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers ("Local 150"), one of the largest local unions in the U.S., is a large-scale, shovel-ready, cost-shared, and repeatable transformational project. It will incorporate innovative technical and financing approaches designed to enable widespread adoption of GHP-based systems. The project will combine three synergistic, commercialized, innovations: 1) Indie's patent-pending technologies applied to the design engineering and construction of a 400+ ton district system-based hybrid retrofit; 2) Indie's patent-pending, IPMVP compliant, real-time system for investment-grade metering, monitoring, and verification of cost savings and carbon avoidance metrics of ground-coupled buildings; 3) The creation and spin-off of a private fund based on a modified Energy Services Agreement model that will be a repeatable vehicle for attracting new capital to the GHP market.

This project comprises three buildings totaling 166,000 square feet of mixed-use space, including offices, a pharmacy, a conference hall, and a credit union, with a combined heating and cooling load of 400+ tons. Ranging from one to three stories, the buildings are representative of office and mixed-use developments ubiquitous in the U.S. Therefore, this project will demonstrate technical and financial innovations that can be replicated on a large scale throughout the country. The project is shovel-ready.

In its 2008 study, the DOE identified primary barriers to widespread GHP adoption, including the inability to: (i) accurately quantify and predict future cost savings from GHP systems; (ii) attract private capital; and (iii) build geothermal fields in urban areas. Indie’s Smart Geothermal™ technologies address all three of these barriers through innovations in design, construction, and standards-based monitoring and quantification of GHP systems. This project will demonstrate innovation in both technology and finance, thereby creating a roadmap for immediate and widespread geothermal adoption.

State Illinois
Objectives Using Indie Energy’s Smart Geothermal™ technologies, the project will accomplish several key technical objectives that will enable widespread adoption of GHP technology, especially in commercial district systems, while also demonstrating an innovative capital finance approach for geothermal infrastructure.
Awardees (Company / Institution) Indie Energy Systems Company, LLC
Awardee Website

Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000116
DOE Funding Level (total award amount) $2,459,971.00
Awardee Cost Share $2,515,250.00
Total Project Cost $4,975,221.00

Principal Investigator(s) Daniel Cheifetz, CEO

Targets / Milestones - Design and demonstrate the economic and technical benefits of district geothermal systems.

- Develop an innovative financing approach that leverages geothermal cost savings to provide return on investment to investors while reducing first cost barriers for building owners. - Successfully retrofit a commercial building campus utilizing a design engineering approach that is economical and repeatable. - Demonstrate Indie Energy’s Smart Geothermal Network™, which proves geothermal system performance and energy savings, thereby significantly reducing risk in GHP adoption. - Create and preserve 51 union-scale jobs, as well as engineering/research jobs and industry development through high-level, targeted market education and marketing programs.

Location of Project Countryside, IL
41.7767°, -87.8767°

Impacts Project demonstrate's an entrepreneur's approach for tackling the cost premium associated with the installation of the GHP ground loop, which has prevented greater marketplace adoption of the technology.
Funding Source American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
References EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs[1]


  1. EERE Geothermal Technologies Programs