Rulemaking for Bored Geothermal Heat Exchangers
Well Management Program
The 2013 Minnesota Legislature amended Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103I, to expand regulation of vertical heat exchangers to now include all bored geothermal heat exchangers. The amendment does not include geothermal systems installed by excavation or trenching. The statute became effective on August 1, 2013.
The amendments in the statute were simple – simply replacing all references to vertical heat exchanger with bored geothermal heat exchanger (BGHE). The definition of bored geothermal heat exchanger is as follows:
"Bored geothermal heat exchanger" means an earth-coupled heating or cooling device consisting of a sealed closed-loop piping system installed in a boring in the ground to transfer heat to or from the surrounding earth with no discharge.
The MDH is now revising Minnesota Rules, chapter 4725 (Wells and Borings) to reflect the statutory amendments. Issues for consideration in rulemaking include contractor licensing (including representative certification); technical requirements for design, construction, repair, and sealing of bored geothermal heat exchangers; and reporting. The first step in rulemaking is the Request for Comments on Possible Amendment to Rules Governing Wells and Borings, Concerning Bored Geothermal Heat Exchangers, published in the Minnesota State Register on Monday 5 August 2013. Instructions for submittal of comments are provided in the Minnesota State Register notice.