Scranton Mine Pool Geothermal Energy Project

In 2007, Underground Miners worked closely with Jim Sovaiko and Lackawanna County to develop a new source of heating and cooling energy utilizing the mine pool of the Northern Anthracite Coal Field. In early 2007 the UGM team and Jim set out to document mine pool temperatures in different parts of the valley. Mine pool temperatures were estimated but no one ever confirmed them. We also had to get temp readings from near the bottom of the pool so we constructed a specialized pod to drop to the bottom of a shaft and read the temperature there. We accessed the mine pool through the New County escapeway at the 190 Slope, as well as the Leggetts Creek No 1 Shaft. All was confirmed and the information was presented to the county commissioners.

After much planning and site mapping, we settled on a suitable location in Scranton where we had a drilling company come in and bore 2 holes down into the New County Vein of coal. We erected a small building and installed a commercially available heat pump that pumps the water out of one bore hole, sends it through the heating and cooling unit and then returns it through another borehole. The system worked very well, and from what the engineers tell us the system will save home owners and businesses 50% in heating and cooling costs. This project was featured in both the Times Tribune and Times leader.

Not much has surfaced about using this method in the past decade. A few years after the project, Marywood University installed a system on one of their buildings, but the use has not spread.