The energy company's geothermal pilot programme highlights the collaboration necessary between utilities, state and local government, environmental advocate partners like HEET and other stakeholders to combat climate change and achieve decarbonisation and electrification goals.
"We all know that our state and our region face significant climate challenges and our geothermal project in Framingham is a great example of how we'll build that clean energy future in addition to our investments in technologies like solar, battery storage, electric vehicle charging station and more," Eversource president, CEO and chairman Joe Nolan said.
"While we aim to be a leader and a catalyst, we need collaboration and partnership to achieve the clean energy future that everyone wants. We're here today because so many stakeholders are willing to support this test of a promising new technology."
"We are really celebrating the birth of a new thermal utility," HEET co-executive director Zeyneb Magavi said. "One that has the potential to meet the needs of the coming century: to deliver the most efficient emissions-free energy reliably, safely, equitably and affordably, while growing good jobs."
The site for the first-ever utility-scaled network geothermal project in America
"The City of Framingham is thrilled that Eversource had chosen this community to be the site for the first-ever utility-scaled network geothermal project in America. I want to thank Eversource for giving Framingham this special opportunity. Eversource employees have been wonderful to work with," Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky said. "When completed the City of Framingham's Fire Station on Concord Street, a portion of the former Farley School on Flagg Drive, along with almost 100 Framingham Housing Authority units and about three dozen private homes and businesses will operate on a geothermal network that will provide indoor heating and cooling. This project proves collaboration can create a clean, innovative energy option for the city."
Approximately 40 single-family homes, apartment buildings, businesses and a fire station will be connected to the "loop" through a new network of pipes that Eversource and its local contractor, R.H. White Construction, are building underground. Following successful testing last year, drilling for the system's wells will begin at three designated bore fields in the area.
Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in 2020, The Geothermal Pilot Programme is a study to explore if a networked system can be used instead of or in combination with traditional energy sources like natural gas, air source heat pumps or delivered fuels like heating oil and propane, and if the utility-scale system could be expanded and/or replicated in other Massachusetts communities. Eversource will evaluate the pilot programme through two full heating and cooling seasons and determine if the technology is a cost-effective option that could be used as part of the unprecedented transition to clean energy sources in Massachusetts.
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