Over 70 stakeholders gathered at HEET’s first two virtual Community Charrettes of the year. Attendees included utility executives, regulators, labor representatives, community organizations, advocates, legislators, geothermal designers and installers, and heat pump installers and manufacturers.
HEET is hosting Charrettes each month throughout 2021 in an effort to share information and from all to make the GeoMicroDistrict pilots the best they can be.
At our January Charrette, we developed a list of site selection criteria for networked geothermal pilots. With two pilots in the works for this year we need careful thinking about these first sites and how to make them work for various constituencies. We heard from many perspectives, including municipalities, state government, residential, low income, and commercial building owners.
From a technical perspective we started with geohydrological criteria—the rock and water below the surface—and progressed through installing the pipes to what characteristics the buildings themselves should have. It was a tremendously rewarding conversation resulting in a robust set of requirements, recommendations, opportunities, and concerns.
In February, we gathered to discuss data needed from the pilots and how to gather that data. We covered what we need to know about infrastructure in buildings and the street, questions we wanted answered regarding the impact of the pilots on residents and workers, and how the system will function as a whole.
Proposed topics for upcoming charrettes:
March – Community outreach
April – System design
May – Building retrofits
June – Workforce development