Eversource Breaks Ground on First-of-its-Kind Geothermal System in Massachusetts

As part of its commitment to advancing clean technologies and exploring innovative ways to help the commonwealth achieve its aggressive decarbonization goals, Eversource today broke ground on a first-of-its-kind utility-scale networked geothermal system in Framingham, Massachusetts. The energy company’s geothermal pilot program highlights the collaboration necessary between utilities, state and local government, environmental advocate partners like HEET and other stakeholders to combat climate change and achieve decarbonization and electrification goals. 
Eversource Breaks Ground on First-of-its-Kind Geothermal System in Massachusetts
Courtesy of Eversource

“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 Eversource President, CEO and Chairman Joe Nolan. “While we aim to be a leader and a catalyst, we need collaboration and partnership to achieve the clean energy future that everyone wants. We’re here today because so many stakeholders are willing to support this test of a promising new technology.”

“We are really celebrating the birth of a new thermal utility,” said HEET co-executive director Zeyneb Magavi. “One that has the potential to meet the needs of the coming century: to deliver the most efficient emissions-free energy reliably, safely, equitably and affordably, while growing good jobs.”
“The City of Framingham is thrilled that Eversource had chosen this community to be the site for the first-ever utility-scaled network geothermal project in America. I want to thank Eversource for giving Framingham this special opportunity. Eversource employees have been wonderful to work with,” said Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky. “When completed the City of Framingham’s Fire Station on Concord Street, a portion of the former Farley School on Flagg Drive, along with almost 100 Framingham Housing Authority units and about 3 dozen private homes and businesses will operate on a geothermal network that will provide indoor heating & cooling. This project proves collaboration can create a clean, innovative energy option for the City.”
Geothermal technology works by transferring heat to and from the earth using water, wells, piping, and pumps to pull the earth’s heat out of the ground to warm buildings in winter and pump heat from buildings back into the ground in summer to cool them. Approximately 40 single-family homes, apartment buildings, businesses and a fire station will be connected to the “loop” through a new network of pipes that Eversource and its local contractor, R.H. White Construction, are building underground. Following successful testing last year, drilling for the system’s wells will begin at three designated bore fields in the area.
Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in 2020, The Geothermal Pilot Program is a study to explore if a networked system can be used instead of or in combination with traditional energy sources like natural gas, air source heat pumps or delivered fuels like heating oil and propane, and if the utility-scale system could be expanded and/or replicated in other Massachusetts communities. Eversource will evaluate the pilot program through two full heating and cooling seasons and determine if the technology is a cost-effective option that could be used as part of the unprecedented transition to clean energy sources in Massachusetts.
Following a robust site-selection process, Eversource chose to pursue the networked geothermal system in Framingham’s Concord Street neighborhood where the energy company already provides services to a diverse group of customers – single- and multi- residential and commercial – all within a dense neighborhood.
PHOTOleft to right: HEET co-executive director Zeyneb Magavi, state Rep. Priscila Sousa, Eversource President of Gas Operations Bill Akley, Framingham Mayor Charlie Sisitsky, Eversource Vice President of Clean Technologies Nikki Bruno, and Eversource President, CEO and Chairman Joe Nolan at MassBay Community College breaking ground on networked geothermal system in Framingham
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