Oil & Gas News

Oklahoma University Team Pioneers Geothermal Energy System

Geothermal, Oklahoma

On May 2, 2024, an inspiring event unfolded as the first-place team in the Technical Track of the 2023 Geothermal Collegiate Competition unveiled their groundbreaking geothermal system. This innovative solution, developed in collaboration with the Osage Nation, promises to sustainably keep greenhouses cool in the summer and warm in the winter, revolutionizing the way we manage greenhouse climates.

The brilliant minds behind this project, a team of students from the University of Oklahoma, designed an ingenious system of geothermal wells in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. This system is set to regulate the temperature of the Tribe’s expansive 40,000-square-foot greenhouse, bolstering efforts for native food sovereignty and transforming the greenhouse into a beacon of self-sufficiency.

Get the Weekly Newsletter Thousands of Mineral Rights Owners and Investors Rely On.

Maintaining a constant year-round growing temperature in a food desert is no small feat. The team’s geothermal system addresses this challenge head-on, offering a sustainable and efficient solution. “The Harvestland greenhouse was created to provide the Osage Nation access to fruits and vegetables, especially during the food shortages of the pandemic,” explained Jose Aramendiz, a Ph.D. candidate in petroleum engineering and a member of the GeoTribe team. “By making the greenhouse self-sufficient, we can significantly reduce energy costs, allowing more resources to be directed towards community benefits.”

Mineral Rights, Sell Mineral RightsA thorough geothermal resources assessment revealed that abundant energy lies just 2,000 feet below the surface, enough to heat and cool both the greenhouse and a nearby fish farm. Although the team explored the potential of converting inactive oil and gas wells, their condition rendered them unsuitable. However, these wells still provided invaluable geological and temperature data crucial for the geothermal system design.

The visionary team members—Cesar Vivas, Nabe Konate, Jose Aramendiz, Gurban Hasanov, and Vagif Mammadzada—earned a well-deserved $10,000 prize, along with additional funding to host their May 2 event. The celebration featured a dynamic networking session, insightful presentations, and a tour of the cutting-edge Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering laboratories.

“Involving stakeholders was pivotal to our success,” shared Nabe Konate, a Ph.D. candidate and GeoTribe member. “Engaging with those who share a common interest in developing geothermal energy helped us align our goals and work collaboratively.”

Listening to the Tribal community was equally crucial. “Understanding their past experiences, concerns, and advice was key to our respectful collaboration,” added Aramendiz. Integrating the community’s insights and beliefs enriched the project, ensuring it was both effective and respectful.

The Geothermal Collegiate Competition, administered by NREL and funded by the Geothermal Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, is more than just a contest. It’s a powerful platform that offers students real-world experience in the renewable energy sector, along with the chance to win cash prizes for their innovative solutions.

This inspiring journey showcases the power of collaboration, innovation, and respect for community knowledge, paving the way for a sustainable and self-sufficient future for greenhouses and beyond.

To Top
Lease or Sell Your Minerals Rights in Oklahoma or Texas ➡️(405) 492-6277

Have your oil & gas questions answered by industry experts.