The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Geothermal Solutions: How Hot Rock Helped Keep the Peppermill Afloat

The Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada boasts more than 2,200 hotel rooms and suites, convention space, a spa, two pools, more than 25 restaurants and lounges, a fitness center, and more – in all, more than 2 million sq. ft. of operations. But the most interesting aspect of the resort, at least to its guests this week, may be that everywhere they walk or swim is heated by geothermal energy. This makes the Peppermill the perfect spot for this year's GRC Annual Meeting and Geothermal Energy Expo.

The Peppermill’s geothermal system not only allows the resort to highlight its use of clean energy, it is a major factor that helped the resort stay afloat during the recession. In 2009, the resort doubled its size with the construction of a new tower block of rooms and amenities – and construction took place in the midst of a nation tightening its wallets and cutting leisure costs.

“We doubled in size, our utilities doubled, and we asked: ‘What do we have to do to survive?’ We had geothermal,” said Dean Parker, facilities director at the Peppermill. “We never used it. That’s what got us thinking outside of the box, and that’s how we got to where we are today.” 

The Peppermill’s geothermal heating system is fueled by a hot reservoir 4,400 feet below the surface of its north tower parking lot. At these depths, the facility is able to tap a steady 175°F geothermal resource that hasn’t fluctuated since it was commissioned three years ago. But the project almost never came to fruition. When management was planning the massive expansion, it had decided to remove an unused shallow well near the construction site.

“When we started to build this Tuscan tower many wanted to remove the shallow well,” said Parker, “but we not only convinced ownership to keep it, we convinced them to put $2 million into it with new pumps, new heat exchangers, and we replaced our boilers.”

The entire system cost $6.5 million after drilling production and injection wells, and Parker says that the system will pay for itself in three years – it will be completely paid off in June 2013. Before the system was commissioned, the Peppermill had a $2.2 million per year natural gas bill, and now geothermal completely replaced any need for natural gas.

After confirming the success of the geothermal system both in production and finances, Parker says management is looking into digging deeper wells to produce electricity. At it’s current temperature, the well only has about a 270-kW capacity, but Parker hopes to take advantage of the vast resources further below to meet all or some of the resort's annual energy needs. He estimates that would call for a 9-MW capacity well.

Said Parker, “With this huge resource of power under our feet, we'd be crazy not to take advantage of it.”

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



Multinational Bank Financing of Geothermal Exploration Up 11 Percent from 2012

Jennifer Delony Financing of geothermal energy exploration by multinational banks has increased 11 percent, up from 6 percent in 2012...

CEO Gilles: Challenge in Geothermal is to 'Level Playing Field' with Wind, Solar

Jennifer Delony The current challenge for the geothermal energy industry is what U.S. Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles calls “leveling th...

Top 5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About Geothermal in the US

Jennifer Delony Joe Greco, Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) board chairman and Terra-Gen Power senior vice president, outlined the...

DOE Releases Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Hawaii

Jennifer Delony DOE released a final programmatic environmental impact statement for Hawaii to provide federal, state and county gove...


NC State University Installs Student-Funded Spotlight Solar Structure to Drive Awareness and Adoption of Clean Energy

North Carolina State University (NC State) will today showcase its commitment to clean ...

Canadian Solar Signs Agreement with Mashiki Town and Kumamoto Prefecture to Build 47 MW Solar Plant in Japan

Canadian Solar Signs Agreement for 47 MW Solar Plant

NEC Energy Partners with Eos Energy Storage to Bring Revolutionary Energy Storage Product to Market

NEC Energy Solutions (“NEC ES”), a subsidiary of NEC Corporation, announced today that ...

$100 Discount on 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience Workshop

Upcoming 5-day Workshops: Nov. 7 - 11 Feb. 6 - 10


Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 4 “Next Steps”

Principles, Structure, and Policies of Energy Democracy Energy democracy can best be described as an electricity sy...

30 Minutes Off

Smartphones have become one of the most valuable tools in the business world. They give us access to our email, conta...

Weather watching

GCube, the renewable energy sector insurance underwriter, has launched a new Weather Risk Transfer mechanism to provi...

How to Save on Your Next Power Bill

  Your rooftop solar is going to generate less electricity over the winter months. Your hot water and he...


As associate editor of, I coordinate and edit feature stories, contributed articles, news stories, opinion pieces and blogs. I also research and write content for and REW magazine. I manage


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo:   Register Now for the 2015 GRC ...

GRC Fieldtrip - Long Valley Geology

Led by: Gene Suemnicht and Duncan Foley     &nb...

GeoPower & Heat Summit

The GeoPower & Heat Summit is the most commercial event in the geoth...


Geothermal Event - We've got an app for that!

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo has gone mobile! We...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal...

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program f...

GRC Annual Geothermal Photo Contest - View all the Entries

36th Annual Geothermal Photo Contest The Geothermal Resources


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now