What did I do on my summer vacation? I went up to Massachusetts to learn more about some innovative projects bringing utility networked geothermal to entire neighborhoods. I have been following these projects with keen interest for several years and am eager to bring the model to Maryland.
I am developing legislation to do just that with a number of key groups and stakeholders. For example, the delegation I organized to visit the Massachusetts projects included representatives from the Maryland Energy Administration, Public Service Commission, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 24, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, Maryland Clean Energy Center, Maryland Geothermal Association, Baltimore Gas and Electric, and Washington Gas.
What is Utility Networked Geothermal? It is a network of pipes and geothermal boreholes designed to share heating and cooling among a series of buildings. This model of ground source heating and cooling is incredibly efficient and allows for the waste heat from some buildings (a grocery store, for example) to be shared with nearby houses. By building it in the utility right of way and rate basing it as a replacement for our current gas system, we can decarbonize entire neighborhoods in an equitable and inclusive way. It’s reliable, safe, affordable, renewable and produces zero-emissions.
The cherry on top? The system is so efficient it will minimize upgrades otherwise needed for the electric grid as we continue to electrify our buildings and transportation. You can see more about the model here and learn more about developments in Maryland and other states here.
Child Care Scholarship Portal Maryland’s Department of Education recently unveiled an online portal to simplify and speed up the application process to get financial assistance for child care for eligible families. Find details here.
Buy Local Challenge We are blessed with abundant and amazing Maryland produce this time of the year. I recently participated in a “Buy Local Challenge” to purchase local foods and produce for a week. It wasn’t much of a challenge, but it sure was delicious!
The fun continues because this week is National Farmers Market Week. Be sure to support local farmers and producers by buying local food—any week—at these nearby farmers markets.
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