Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth.
Geothermal power can be cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth's surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock. Hot-rock geothermal resources are found near the Virginia Atlantic coastline; however, due to the depth of these rocks, they are not economical with current technology.
Geothermal energy technologies include the generation of electricity and thermal energy using geothermal energy resources. Projects typically involve exploring for a subsurface resource, drilling wells into naturally-heated subterranean aquifers, and then circulating fluids to extract heat for energy production. Further information is available here
Currently, only a fraction of U.S. geothermal resources are utilized to produce power. Nevertheless, United States is the leader in geothermal power generation with 56 power plants (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration). In 2008, approximately 3,000 MW of geothermal electricity was generated in the U.S. A much larger resource base, however, is believed to exist in the forms of "hidden" hydrothermal systems.
The Virginia Beach Public Schools has actively promoted the use of these technologies, including the retrofitting of the heating and cooling systems for existing Schools. With the completion of such project in 2009, Providence Elementary School was able to achieve 80 percent overall energy usage reduction. It is anticipated that similar reductions in energy consumption for heating and air conditioning may be attained in other City schools and City buildings.