Eversource Plans Three Geothermal Pilots

January 3, 2020

Based on HEET’s networked geothermal concept, Eversource stated its intention to pilot three geothermal pilots in a document recently filed with the Commonwealth. The results of these pilots will help us all learn how to replace gas with renewable heating and cooling through shared-loop geothermal. The boreholes for these pilots are in the street and run about 100 to 500 feet deep.

Thanks to your support, we’ve achieved an astounding outcome. For a utility with $7.75 billion in revenue, 8,000 employees, and 3.6 million customers in three states to take HEET research seriously and invest in it is a major step toward achieving our goals.

Bill Akley, President of Eversource Gas, made the announcement at the recent Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy (TUE) hearing on gas bills. The pilots are for a single multifamily building, large mixed-use residential and commercial and industrial (C&I), and a low-density residential neighborhood. The Mass. Department of Public Utilities may take as long as eight months to review the Eversource document—known as a rate case—which outlines a three-year plan to implement the three pilots.

Akley’s announcement came on the heels of HEET’s statewide feasibility study. HEET hired BuroHappold Engineering—the international engineering company that performed many projects including New York City’s 80 x 50 plan—to perform the  engineering assessment of the potential for networked geothermal heating and cooling across Massachusetts. The final feasibility GMD report, published October 25, shows that street-segment geothermal can replace gas as a primary source of energy for space heating and cooling and hot water. A full day technical workshop was held October 28 with 100 participants including union representatives, geothermal experts, and utility employees. To learn more about how geothermal is possible, please see the League of Women Voter’s Webinar on HEET’s geothermal network idea.

ENERGY SHIFT is moving forward. By tirelessly talking to all affected parties, from state agencies to gas companies, from labor to residents, about their needs, HEET has been able to influence one of the largest utilities in New England.

If you have a project or neighborhood you think is appropriate for a pilot, contact HEET. Stay tuned for more progress.