Energy provider Eversource has begun construction on a utility-scale networked geothermal system in the Concord Street neighborhood of Framingham, Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts-based utility says it will use the geothermal pilot program to evaluate if a utility-scale system is a viable and affordable way to heat and cool homes and businesses.
The project was approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in 2020. It aims to explore the feasibility of using a networked geothermal system instead of or in combination with traditional energy sources such as natural gas, air source heat pumps, or delivered fuels like propane and heating oil.
Eversource says it will evaluate the pilot program over two heating and cooling seasons to determine its cost-effectiveness and potential for expansion in other Massachusetts communities.
Geothermal technology harnesses the earth’s heat through water, wells, piping, and pumps to warm buildings in winter and cool them in summer. The project will see around 40 single-family homes, apartment buildings, businesses, and a fire station connected to the “loop” through underground pipes that Eversource is constructing with its local contractor R.H. White Construction.
Following successful testing in 2022, drilling for the system’s wells will commence at three designated bore fields in the area, Eversource notes.
“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,” said Joe Nolan, President, CEO and Chairman of Eversource.