Critical work to build innovative utility-scale networked geothermal loop expected to last several months
As part of its ongoing commitment to advance an all-encompassing approach to help facilitate the decarbonization of its natural gas system, Eversource started drilling this week on approximately 90 bore holes that are an essential component of its networked geothermal pilot program in Framingham, Massachusetts. Once completed, the energy company’s geothermal “loop” will connect 140 customers across nearly 40 buildings – including residential homes, a cabinet store, fire station, Framingham Housing Authority buildings and the community college – to provide an energy efficient and sustainable heating and cooling system regulated by the earth’s natural temperature.
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Equipment in position prior to the start of borehole drilling in Framingham (Photo: Business Wire)
“We’ve been working hard installing main and other equipment for several months, and putting drills into the ground is another major step toward making our geothermal pilot system a reality,” said Eversource President of Gas Bill Akley. “This is especially exciting for our 140 customers who are eager to participate in this innovative pilot program as we explore the potential of networked geothermal to decarbonize the natural gas system. Over the next two years, we’re going to study if this technology is cost-effective for our customers, and whether we can expand this kind of networked geothermal system to other customers and communities beyond this neighborhood in Framingham.”
Eversource has worked in close coordination with municipal partners at the City of Framingham to minimize community and environmental impacts as construction on the loop continues. Drilling operations will happen within two city-owned parking lots and a Framing Housing Authority lot over the next few months. The energy company has partnered with a contractor that specializes in this type of drilling, and each well will be approximately 600-700 feet deep.
Geothermal technology works by transferring heat to and from underground wells into homes and businesses using heat pumps. Participating homes and businesses will be connected to the “loop” through a new network of pipes that Eversource and its local contractor continue to build underground.
Eversource expects its networked geothermal system to be complete and placed in service ahead of the 2023 heating season. As part of the pilot program’s 2020 approval by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), the energy company will operate its geothermal system for two complete heating and cooling seasons, providing regular updates to the DPU. Using the two-year pilot, Eversource will evaluate whether the technology is a cost-effective option at utility scale to complement or replace delivered fuels like heating oil and propane or natural gas service.
To learn more about the Framingham Geothermal Pilot Program, please visit Eversource.com.
Eversource (NYSE: ES), celebrated as a national leader for its corporate citizenship, is the #1 energy company in Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2023 and recognized as one of America’s Most JUST Companies. Celebrated as a national leader for its corporate citizenship, Eversource transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas and supplies water to 1.8 million customers throughout Massachusetts, including approximately 1.47 million electric customers in 140 communities, 639,000 gas customers in 117 communities, and 8,800 water customers in five communities. Eversource harnesses the commitment of approximately 9,600 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. The #1 energy efficiency provider in the nation, the company is empowering a clean energy future in the Northeast, with nationally recognized energy efficiency solutions and successful programs to integrate new clean energy resources like solar, offshore wind, electric vehicles and battery storage, into the electric system. For more information, please visit eversource.com, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. For more information on our water services, visit aquarionwater.com.