Eversource has begun constructing a utility-scale networked geothermal system in Framingham, Massachusetts, as part of its commitment to advancing clean technologies and supporting the commonwealth's decarbonization goals. The geothermal pilot program, a collaboration among Eversource, government entities, environmental advocates like HEET, and other stakeholders, aims to combat climate change and achieve decarbonization and electrification objectives.
Geothermal technology utilizes water, wells, piping, and pumps to transfer heat to and from the earth, providing warmth to buildings in winter and cooling in summer. Around 40 residential homes, apartment complexes, businesses, and a fire station will be connected to this networked system via underground pipes, which are currently being installed by Eversource and their contracted partner, R.H. White Construction. The drilling of wells at three designated bore fields in the area will commence following successful testing conducted last year.
The Geothermal Pilot Program, approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in 2020, aims to investigate the feasibility of using a networked geothermal system as an alternative or complementary energy source to traditional options such as natural gas, air source heat pumps, heating oil, and propane. Furthermore, it seeks to determine the scalability and replicability of a utility-scale system in other communities across Massachusetts. Eversource will evaluate the pilot program's effectiveness over two complete heating and cooling seasons, assessing its cost-effectiveness as a viable solution within the state's remarkable transition to clean energy sources.
The networked geothermal system is being implemented in Framingham's Concord Street neighborhood, where Eversource already serves a diverse range of residential and commercial customers, making it an ideal location for this innovative project.