I’m not a fisherman, but I have plenty of stories about the one that got away. Big, fantastic opportunities don’t come along frequently, so they tend to catch us off guard. Ball State is the one that didn’t get away. 3,600 bore holes, $88 million spent, 8% ROI, 2,300 new jobs created, $2 million reduction in annual energy costs: this is the whopper we – the high performance building industry – caught. It’s the single biggest success story in the history of the U.S. geothermal industry, and I believe the secrets to industry growth can be uncovered by dissecting how this project came to be.
On November 7th Ball State University is hosting it’s first Geothermal Conclave (GeoCon) – a one-day conference and trade show for anyone interested in high performance buildings. This is a free event that includes lunch, networking, educational sessions and a tour of the largest geothermal heat pump installation in the United States. We at HeatSpring are proud to be partnering with Ball State to make this event a success.
Here are six reasons why you need to attend GeoCon this year:
- It’s the professional equivalent to visiting the Grand Canyon. Can you really call it a life well-lived if you haven’t seen this thing with your own eyes?
- Ball State is recruiting other universities and academics to attend – can you imagine if a college near you decided to do the same thing? Ball State has explicitly said this is a goal of theirs. This is your chance to be a part of those conversations from the earliest stages.
- You’ll make new, potentially valuable, business contacts. Since this is a new event it’s going to pull a diverse group of folks together who may not already know each other. That’s an exciting and potent formula for finding new opportunities.
- We’re using education technology to make the event even more interesting. We’re donating the use of our Cammpus training software to make this more of a ‘blended learning’ opportunity. You’ll be able to start learning about the Ball State system and chatting with other attendees online before you ever set foot on campus.
- The focus is on big systems, not residential. Sometimes selling residential systems feels like herding cats – I find it refreshing to talk about how to sell IKEA and Ball State on geothermal. It’s harder, but has such a massive impact on the industry when it happens.
- We’ll be there discussing the future of the industry, not the past. Almost all of the young geothermal professionals I know are anxious about their future in the industry. They want to do work they love, but also need to make a living. That’s going to be the focus of several breakout events, including the session on geothermal design led by IGSHPA author Ryan Carda.
Success begets success. I’m excited for this opportunity to learn more about one of the best things that ever happened to the high performance building industry and to support Ball State’s effort to spread the word about what’s possible. Joining me in that costs you zero dollars. I hope to see you there.