Dan and Kari Rau on Panel to Discuss Geothermal in Colorado

Colorado Geothermal Drilling owners, Dan and Kari Rau, were recently invited to be on a panel to discuss Geothermal in Colorado. Colorado Senate Nominee, Sally Boccella hosted the round table event with guests including HEET Co-Founder Audrey Schulman, Gary Arnold with UA Pipefitters Local 208, Sydnie Lieb with Xcel Energy, and Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone.

The discussion included information on geothermal ground source heat pump systems, employing more Colorado workers, federal and state tax incentives, as well as utilizing geothermal micro districts in future development. It was a thoughtful conversation about what we are doing at Colorado Geothermal Drilling and we always enjoy educating more people about the benefits of geothermal.

Dan and Kari Rau have operated their family owned business, Colorado Geothermal Drilling, since 2005. They have been one of the leading installers for geothermal systems in Colorado, partly due to their unique operation and vast knowledge of geothermal design and installation. Their combination of specialized equipment and experienced personnel has made them a rarity in this field and they are able to provide their customers with valuable information, answering any questions, and providing the best energy efficient system to fit the client’s needs.

Iowa State alumni find success with geothermal drilling

ISU Alumni Article

Dan Rau, a mechanical engineering alumnus, is making strides in geothermal energy. After he graduated in 1998, Rau began working as a mechanical engineer for a consulting firm that designed heating, venting and cooling systems for commercial use. That’s when he was introduced to geothermal technology and began to invest his time into researching the technology and the installation of geothermal systems. Now, he has his own geothermal drilling business.

When his wife, Kari (who earned her bachelor’s in exercise and sport science from Iowa State in 2000), received a job in Colorado and the couple relocated, Rau took the opportunity to begin his adventure into geothermal drilling. He shadowed another geothermal driller, hoping to gain as much information as possible. He says he learned many aspects about the business, such as what does and what doesn’t work, a deeper understanding of hydraulics and how to drill more efficiently. He then utilized what he learned at Iowa State to improve and build more efficient, safe and streamlined equipment so installations require less equipment and manpower.

Rau says the education he received at Iowa State was a big help. The knowledge from his classes like machine design helped Rau design his drill as well as all the parts that go with it. Even more, classes like thermodynamics and fluid transfer helped Rau create more efficient and safe drilling. Adding his experience to the mix has made Rau a one-of-a-kind driller who can do it all, a rare occurrence in the geothermal industry.

Because much of geothermal drilling is virtually invisible when compared to solar or wind powered operations, Rau says a big portion of his job is about educating clients on geothermal energy. His research in the field and being able to apply his extensive knowledge to his business helps him inform his clients about all aspects of his operations.

While he’s enjoying success with his business, he says starting from scratch presented many challenges. He built the company right before the recession, and that brought many worries as some of his biggest competitors began to go out of business. Rau powered through, and his business was able to grow each year.

Rau plans to continue providing Colorado and its resident’s quality geothermal systems. His business is family-­owned ran by Rau, his wife Kari, his father Doug, his brother Nick, and two other employees.

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