A new development just north of Marshfield features what's believed to be the largest geothermal lake in the Midwest.
The 100-acre Prairie Run development has a man-made five acre lake. It's not just nice to look at according to Dan Helwig, one of four owner/developers. He says energy transfer from the lake is actually being used to make the residential and business development more energy efficient.
About one acre of the lake is 20-feet deep. From that area, heat is extracted, the heat molecules are compressed and turned into energy to heat the development's buildings in the winter and cool them in the summer. So far, Helwig says it's been working. The first occupier of one of the 3,000 sq. ft. condos saw a utility bill of just under $1,600 for all of 2007.
While much has been made of the "green revolution" lately, Helwig says it's nothing new. He remembers past energy crunches and the progress toward efficiency that was made because of them.