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GEM alumnus gives Sen. Udall a tour of urban redevelopment project that uses cost-cutting geothermal energy system

October 30, 2013

GEM alumnus Joel Poppert (left) talks with Sen. Mark Udall

A Global Energy Management Program alumnus recently gave U.S. Senator Mark Udall a tour of Denver Housing Authority’s Benedict Park Place. This mixed-use, urban redevelopment project uses an energy-efficient, cost-cutting geothermal energy system.

“From an industry stand point, broader adoption of geothermal heating and cooling will be realized when lawmakers and utilities begin to see the geothermal ‘loop field’ as a valuable asset to their portfolio,” said Joel Poppert, M.Sc., director of business development and marketing at Major Geothermal. “The ‘loop field’ is the infrastructural component of the geothermal system that harnesses the free renewable energy of the earth 24/7/365; it will last for many generations of buildings, and from a utility standpoint, can provide more efficient, reliable, and profitable revenue streams than their conventional infrastructural investments such natural gas distribution and fossil fuel generation fleets.”

Sen. Udall visited Benedict Park Place on Oct. 26, and Poppert was asked to participate as a geothermal expert to discuss the technology applications, energy benefits, and strategies that can help realize broader adoption of this valuable resource.

“Utility investments in the loop field will remove the upfront cost barriers holding geothermal back, provide more efficiency to the grid, and most importantly save all ratepayers over time,” Poppert said. “Sen. Udall is one of the few federal congressmen that fully understands our technology, and I have full confidence that he will include us in the national energy conversation.”

The Benedict Park Place is a mixed-income, mixed-use redevelopment project that uses over 40 geothermal wells to cut energy costs. The geothermal system, along with other efficient technologies and design practices, helped the building achieve LEED Gold designation and results in a 62 percent reduction in operating costs.

This visit was part of Udall’s statewide energy tour, a series of roundtables and events with Colorado energy industry officials, local leaders, and the public. Udall’s tour highlights how Colorado’s balanced approach to energy is creating good-paying, middle-class jobs while making America more energy independent. Recent stops include visits to a micro-hydro project in Ridgeway, a methane-capture site in Somerset, and a solar-thermal facility in Aurora.

Joel Poppert currently acts as the Director of Business Development for Major Geothermal, an internationally recognized geothermal design and consulting firm based out of Wheat Ridge, CO.  As part of his job, Mr. Poppert spends a considerable amount of time facilitating discussions with strategic stakeholders to insure they understand the magnitude of benefits geothermal heating and cooling holds both for the built environment and our energy portfolio.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 31, 2013 5:05 pm

    Fantastic, Joel! Kudos!

    In July, I was part of a team that took Sen. Udall on a tour of the new solar thermal installation at Adolfson-Peterson CO headquarters… He is definitely on the ball in terms of learning about our full spectrum of energy options.

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