MA Eversource Starts First Utility Geothermal Project

A geothermal system relies on the earth's constant level temperature to provide both cooling and heating to homes. The Eversource project works on a larger scale to service homes and businesses alike.

Eversource Project Is Big News For MA

The first geothermal project built by a utility in New England will provide heat and cooling to home and businesses alike.
The first utility-led geothermal energy network project in New England could help utilities not only evolve into a new energy business but also reduce customer energy consumption and save them money.

MA has been pushing to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, several factors, including upfront costs, can make the goal feel unlikely. But an incredible new project by MA Eversource may lead the charge against fossil fuel dependency. Instead of natural gas or electricity, the system distributes thermal energy. So, find out more about how it could affect your electricity rates, let’s dig into how a utility-owned geothermal energy network project works.

What Is The Eversource Project?

MA Eversource established their $14 million project in Farmingham, MA. This thermal energy network is a pilot program that could demonstrate the viability of thermal energy for energy grids. Instead of delivering electricity or natural gas, it delivers heating and cooling.

If this works out, it shows a clear path utilities can use to switch from natural gas to geothermal service. In other words, it could remove New England’s natural gas dependency.

How The Thermal Project Works

This project uses heat pump units installed in 31 homes and five commercial buildings. The units connect to a one-mile loop of pipes in the ground. Like most geothermal HVAC home systems, the units move heat from buildings to the earth to cool off. It can then reverse the process to provide heat in the winter.

This may sound like any other geothermal-based HVAC system. Underground temperatures remain at about 55 °F at all times. This includes the hottest summer days or the coldest winter nights. Because of this, the system runs more efficiently then air-duct systems or natural gas heating.

But instead of one home, this project is designed to work on a much bigger scale. In addition, the system shares energy among all the connected buildings. So, for example, if one home needs more heat than another, then the system can deliver extra heat to the home in need. This could make the system more efficient than the standard forced air system in each home. In fact, this energy sharing program could see their electricity bills drop by around 20%!

Potential Problems And Solutions

Obviously, this system does have some problems. For instance, the average cost for a geothermal system for one home is around $24,000. As you can guess, that cost is too high for most households. However, utilities like Eversource could pay for the upgrades and pass the costs onto customers with the delivery charges on your bill. But keep in mind that the current heating and cooling system relies on each home providing their own heating and cooling. And each home’s system will vary in energy inefficiency, cost to run, and high rates.

Thankfully, the Inflation Reduction Act provides plenty of tax credit incentives to invest in these projects. This means the initial cost hurdle is much more manageable, and that could lead to lower prices for your power.

Is This The Future Of Electric?

It’s too early to predict the exact effects this project could have on MA energy. However, it is an exciting first step to getting rid of our natural gas dependency. This, along with other renewable projects, could help stop climate change and make power more affordable.

We’ll keep up to date on this story right here at While you’re here, you can also shop for the best electricity rates in town.

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