New England’s largest energy provider, Eversource, is set to begin first-of-its-kind pilot with networked geothermal energy. In a conversation with Choose Framingham, Eric Bosworth, Project Manager at Eversource explained to us the way geothermal energy can cool and heat up spaces. This renewable resource works using the earth’s external storage, during the winter heat is pull out of the earth with a heat pump into homes and businesses. During the summer, the same process works in reverse, the heat is taken out of the space and is stored in the earth. Even though geothermal energy has been used for heating for a very long time, it is the shared network geothermal energy (video) that will be tested what makes it unique.
According to Eversource website, “using geothermal energy for heating and cooling can reduce the average residential customer's carbon emissions by up to 60 percent.”
Eversource screened several places, according to the standards the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, who approved the program, gave them. Bosworth shared with us that Framingham met all the criteria on Eversource’s quantitative process. The city is an urban area with enough space to install the equipment, the geology is great for geothermal because of Framingham’s very shallow rock. Lastly, the cross section of income and the use of gas, oil, propane, and electric resistance in this area is ideal.
Eligible participants of this program have already been notified and selected. The pilot is intended to run through two heating and cooling seasons starting in mid-2022, and Eversource will be receiving feedback before, during and after the program. Participants will pay a low fixed charge each month for access to the geothermal network. They will no longer pay for natural gas or delivered fuels but are responsible for their electric bill that will power the heat pump.
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