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Ball State University begins the
largest Geothermal project in
U.S. History

Ball State University, in Muncie Indiana, has begun the drilling of the largest geothermal project in U.S. history. On May 9, 2009, the first of up to 4,000 holes was ceremonially drilled by senator Richard Lugar, using Laibe Corporation's model VERSA-DRILL V-100NG/RH drilling rig.

"This system will heat and cool more than 40 buildings over 660 acres and as such it will be the first full scale district geothermal project in the country," said Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora.

The new system will replace the university's coal fired plant and is anticipated to save $2 million annually in energy costs.

"We're honored to be a part of the ground breaking ceremony." says Jim Hopkins, president & CEO, Laibe Corporation. "Our rigs have travelled around the world and helped with some pretty amazing projects, but to be part of the Ball State Ground Breaking is truly an exciting opportunity, especially with Senator Lugar on the drillers stand of a VERSA-DRILL."

The project is expected to be completed in eight years and will create numerous new jobs throughout that time. When complete, it's expected to eliminate 80,000 tons of carbon emissions per year and cut Ball State's carbon footprint in half.

Ball State is drawing the attention of other universities who are calling to see how they're approaching the project.

"Americans (will) come, as I predicted in my comments today, to flood this campus with inquires. People all over the world (will ask) well how did you do it, what is it? Explain it to us quickly because it is no longer a pilot project it is for real the heat for this campus will come from the ground," Senator Lugar said.

The finished project will leave a very small visual footprint on the campus. "If we do everything right, when it's all said and done, this place will look exactly like it looks right now," Gora said.

"This is a large project, we are confident that Ball State University will set the standard for large scale geothermal projects. Laibe Corporation will do whatever we can to assist Ball State in making sure this project is a success for them and the geothermal industry!" says Hopkins.

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