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Oregon Tech Looks To Be World's First Fully-Geothermal Campus

Oregon Institute of Technology, in Klamath Falls, outlined plans Tuesday, to build a $7.6 million geothermal power plant on campus.

In a few years' time, the school says it will become the first university in the world to be powered completely by hot water. Central Oregon correspondent Ethan Lindsey reports.

The school is already entirely heated by hot water.

And to hear boosters talk about it, the country's energy future is coming to the surface - right here.

Klamath Falls sits near a fault line in the planet's crust. Engineers can pull heat and energy right out of the earth.

It's cheap and renewable, says Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden. He was on campus to promote federal support for the project - to the tune of at least $1 million.

Ron Wyden: “Oregon, and in particular this part of the state, can be the Saudi Arabia of renewables. All the sun, and geothermal, and wind. We're really well positioned to go gangbusters on renewables.”

Critics say geothermal power is limited and won't be much more than a small piece of an overall energy solution.

The school says that's why it hopes the plant will also allow students to learn and research geothermal innovation.