HEET Community Charrettes

by Sarah Griffith

HEET has long believed in the wisdom of the crowd, that is, the ability of a group of people to rapidly problem solve. Now that GeoMicroDistricts are going in the ground this year, HEET has begun monthly topical Community Charrettes. Our Charrettes gather stakeholders to share knowledge, anticipate needs, and reduce uncertainty about the upcoming GeoMicroDistrict installations.  

Our first four virtual Charrettes of the year covered site selection criteria, data collection, community outreach, and building retrofits. The first three Charrette Report have been distributed, and the next one is close to final. 

Charrette #1 Site Selection Report
Charrette #2 Data Collection Report
Charrette #3 Outreach Report

In addition to the Charrette Reports, there have been other positive outcomes. The first Charrette resulted in HEET’s Site Selection Checklist, which distilled thoughts from the Charrette and from HEET’s own experience into a comprehensive list utilities can use. 

From the second meeting on data collection, a group formed to begin identifying data and metrics that will be useful across many GeoMicroDistrict installations.The third Charrette resulted in a meeting between a utility project manager and a marketing person at the same company who can help the project manager acquire customers at the installation site. 

The eighty-five stakeholders at HEET’s recent charrettes have included utility executives, regulators, labor representatives, community organizations, advocates, legislators, geothermal designers and installers, and heat pump installers and manufacturers. While we’ll all be happy to meet in person again, the virtual format has allowed folks from nine states and one province to attend.

HEET is hosting Charrettes each month throughout 2021 in an effort to share information and learn from everyone to make the GeoMicroDistrict demonstration projects the best they can be. 

Upcoming Charrettes will cover the design of GeoMicroDistricts and the workforce transition, both internal to the utility and for gas workers. If you’d like to attend future Charrettes, please email us!