Monthly Charrette Snapshot: Eversource Site Selection

Participants at our August Charrette at District Hall, Boston. All photos below by John Ciovacco.
August 30, 2021
Melissa Harclerode, Principal, Green & Sustainability Discipline Leader at CDM Smith, spoke about the geology and demographics of potential sites.

Each month, HEET hosts a Community Charrette covering a variety of topics related to networked geothermal demonstration projects. Enterprising gas companies—keen to explore cost efficient replacements for increasingly ineffective and outdated gas system business models—have already committed to $30 million in demonstration installations in Massachusetts (Eversource Gas and Merrimack Valley Installations) and New York (NYSERDA, and Consolidated Energy), with an additional $27 million pending (National Grid MA and Niagara Mohawk). Mayor de Blasio in NYC has even requested changing legislation to allow these installations to scale. 

HEET's charrettes, kindly funded by E4theFuture, have begun to attract national and international attention, with participants from all around the United States, from Canada, and from Europe. 

David Oliver, industrial design engineer and and Principal at Cusp Development, presented the opportunities and challenges of Worcester as a potential site. Zeyneb Magavi, HEET Co-Executive Director, took notes.

In August, over 60 stakeholders gathered both on Zoom and in-person at District Hall to consider the challenges and opportunities of possible sites for Eversource’s upcoming networked geothermal demonstration project. 

While the timeline for Eversource’s site selection has been delayed by the pandemic, many localities are vying to be chosen. Several are under consideration, including sites in Worcester, Cambridge, Boston/Hyde Park, and Framingham.

Letters of support for potential sites have already come in from State Representatives, Mayors, City Managers, Chamber of Commerce representatives, as well as local nonprofits, businesses and property owners. 

Nikki Bruno, Director of Clean Technologies at Eversource Gas, gave an update on Eversource's plans and continued committed to constructing a networked geothermal demonstration project.

It was thrilling to gather in-person again, even with masks and some virtual participants. August charrette attendees included utility executives, regulators, labor representatives, community organizations, advocates, legislators, geothermal designers and installers, and heat pump installers and manufacturers. 

HEET’s charrette report, based on feedback from participants, will provide Eversource with valuable input to the site selection process. Early and continual engagement with community partners and diverse stakeholders will help influence success for the program and promote support from participating neighborhoods. 

For more information and reports on HEET’s monthly charrettes (focused on Site Selection, Data Collection, Community Outreach, Retrofits, and System Design) click here