HEET is pioneering a radical transformation of gas utilities into non-emitting thermal utilities, transitioning them away from delivering fossil fuels to instead delivering heating and cooling through networked ground source heat pumps.
The model utilizes underground pipes in the gas utility’s right-of-way in the street to deliver ambient-temperature water to buildings. Heat pumps in each building pull off the heating or cooling needed. Local installations can eventually be interconnected to build city-wide or regional grids within each utility’s territory.
Zeyneb Magavi, Co-Executive Director of HEET, first came up with the concept when she was trying to install a ground source heat pump as an alternative to gas for heating and cooling her home, but found the expense prohibitive. She began to think about alternatives–like getting multiple homes on her street to co-invest in a thermal system and thereby lower individual cost burdens.
Networked ground source heat pump projects are now moving forward in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Philadelphia. But the question remains, what should we call this networked heating and cooling delivery system?
We want to know: Is the name “GeoMicroDistrict” (the name HEET has used since launching the model) easy to understand? Do you have another idea for a name that might better convey the concept? HEET has begun to brainstorm alternatives, for example, “GeoGrid” and “GeoBlock.” What do you think sounds best? At HEET, we’re constantly trying to innovate to find the most effective way forward. Your input is important to us! Take this survey or suggest a new name here.
Where did we get the name ‘GeoMicroDistrict’ in the first place?
Geo = energy from the ground
MicroDistrict = a smaller version of district energy
Read more about Eversource’s demonstration project [will link to article above] and National Grid’s proposal for its own networked geothermal project.