Expo Center in Enid Completes Energy

Article excerpt

In early 2009, Steven Barnes, general manager of the Chisholm Trail Expo Center in Enid, started writing a grant in an attempt to get money for improvements for the complex owned by Garfield County.

It took a while, but his grant writing project paid off. In mid 2010, the center was awarded a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. The money was part of federal stimulus package - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - and was from $46.7 million allocated to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for energy projects.

The grant was written to address a variety of needed improvements for the complex in north Enid.

"We did four projects with the same grant," Barnes said.

All four projects have been completed and have made the center more energy efficient - resulting in saving money. The projects included a geothermal heating and cooling system, a wind turbine, new lighting in the coliseum and new lighting in the parking lot.

The projects included installing a geothermal heating and cooling system in the Hoover Building, which is about 100 feet wide by 100 feet long and used for meetings.

"The Hoover Building was built in 1971 so it had a 1971 heating and cooling system," Barnes said. "Now we have modern technology."

The geothermal heating and cooling system included drilling 30 wells 250 feet deep.

Installation of the 50-killowatt wind turbine was completed three months ago and has already provided savings.

"I think on an annual basis, it will save us 50 percent on our electrical usage," he said.

Power generation from the wind turbine varies with the weather, but has exceeded 1,200 kilowatt hours a day on several occasions, Barnes said.

"It is going to be a great benefit for the fairgrounds," he said.

Facilities at the center include the Chisholm Trail Coliseum, which has 6,000 permanent seats in an arena format with room for 2,500 additional seats on the floor for concerts, and the Chisholm Trail Pavilion, which has 100,000 square feet of trade show space, meetings rooms and a dirt floor arena.

Other smaller buildings and facilities are available at the Garfield County Fairgrounds, which has 160 acres, and the Fairgrounds Grandstand, a 5,000-seat outdoor facility.

In addition to the wind turbine and the geothermal heating and cooling system, the center used the federal money to replace the original lighting in the coliseum and the pavilion with T5 fluorescent lighting. It also replaced lighting in the parking lot with light-emitting diode, or LED, lights. …