The City of Boise’s Geothermal Use Tops U.S.
Happy Earth Day! In celebration of celebrating our planet and the beautiful City of Trees it seems fitting to take a deeper look into Boise's geothermal uses. Did you know that under the streets of Boise there is over 20 miles of pipeline that heat over 6 million square feet?
On the official City of Boise website they have a page dedicated to the cities geothermal uses. If you look in certain downtown places you will notice a plaque showcasing the buildings geothermal use. Places like JUMP, City Hall, Treasure Valley YMCA, Boise State and more have it. Idaho is a treasure trove of geothermal hot spots. Boise has been taking advantage of what mother nature has to offer and has been heating homes and buildings since the 1890s.
According to the city, it was in 1983 when Boise really began the infrastructure of what is now the largest, municipally-operated system in the country! That is HUGE! The city of Boise in total is heating over 90 buildings throughout downtown Boise using geothermal.
So how does it all work? Under the Earth's surface is a river of geothermally heated water flows. We have sizable ones under Boise's foothills. The City uses that natural hot resource to heat buildings, use for sidewalk snowmelt, to warm recreational pools, and more. It doesn't get much more sustainable than that.
Geothermal springs coming to the surface are what also create the amazing hot springs around us. There is a website that shows geothermal maps and hot spots for Idaho. Check that out here.