Achieve is Proud Winner of the 2018 NY-GEO Top Job Competition

By Larry Lessard and Michelle Harrison (G.E.T. staff)

Larry Lessard (left), VP of Achieve Renewable Energy, the New England Geothermal Professional Association (NEGPA) Vice President and 2018 “GeoStar Top Job” award winner, with John Manning (right), NY-GEO Board Member, creator of the Top Job contest and President of Phoenix Energy Supply. Photo: NY-GEO.org.

The 2018 NY-GEO conference drew an international crowd of more than 300 people. The presentations and vendor exhibits were informative. A highlight of the conference was the fourth annual “GeoStar Top Job” competition, which included five finalists. NEGPA’s (New England Geothermal Professional Association) Vice President, Larry Lessard, of Achieve Renewable Energy in Salem, MA won the competition! The winning project was the conversion of a 19th century mill building in Arlington, MA to a 21st century technology incubator.

Arlington Center Garage and Service Corporation, the owners of the mill, were undertaking renovations of the timber and brick structure. The first floor was vacant, and Glance Networks, a technology company, occupied the second floor. The goal was to create a bright and inviting Class A office space on the first floor with multiple private offices and open work areas. This space was built for WorkBar, a regional, technology-focused workspace sharing company. Maintaining a short schedule to meet WorkBar’s move-in date was a key to project success.

Before renovations. Image: Larry Lessard.

A major part of the mill’s renovation was upgrading the HVAC system. The building was heated by a fuel oil-fired steam system which was replaced with a ground source heat pump (GSHP) system. Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC (Achieve) installed the GSHP. The GSHP system was chosen to meet the owner’s goal of reduced carbon emissions and lower operation costs.

There were permitting challenges for the project, as the project was within a wetland resource area. The available space for the ground source required crossing Mill Brook and a large sewer main. Achieve devised a method for pipe routing and obtained the required special permits.

The ground source consisted of eight vertical bores drilled in diorite and gabbro. Each boring was completed with a 1.25 inches diameter HDPE u-bend and backfilled with graphite-enhanced grout with a thermal conductivity of 1.6 Btu/hr-ft-°F. The borings were plumbed in parallel in pairs and combined in a pipe vault. From the vault, four inches diameter piping traversed the sewer main and brook.

Picture of the mill showing renovations of the timber and brick structure. Image: Larry Lessard.

Achieve installed variable-speed, central loop circulation that supported six WaterFurnace GSHPs. Three of the GSHPs utilize variable-speed compressors and condition up to six zones each. The other three GSHPs utilize two-stage compressors and support up to four zones each. The first floor design alone had 18 zones. The building has 24 zones. Each GSHP is monitored remotely using a WaterFurnace Aurora Web-Link (AWL).

Construction was completed on time, and the renovated facility opened to great fanfare. Based upon data from the AWLs, for the 12 months from March 2017 through February 2018, the approximately 12,000 sq. ft. historic building had total heating and cooling cost of $6,415 at $0.18/kWh. Of this, about $1,500 was cooling of a server room.

Installation by Achieve Renewable Resources of a ground source heat pump system at a 19th century mill building in Arlington, MA. The ground source consisted of eight vertical bores.

The mill owner commented that this is the lowest maintenance, quietest and lowest operating cost heating system at any of their numerous facilities. The GSHP system has been expanded as WorkBar expands. Achieve is now involved in a GSHP at the adjacent, larger mill building for the same owner.

Congratulation to Larry and his team at Achieve on their winning project!

Larry Lessard is the Vice President of NEGPA and Director of Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC.

If the links in this article don’t work with your browser, Achieve Renewable’s website can be found at http://achieverenewable.com/

And NEGPA’s website is here: http://www.negpa.org/

 

100% Renewable Energy Summit

Join Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC at North Shore for 100% Renewable Energy Summit

Our own Lawrence Lessard will be on the discussion panel at the upcoming North Shore for 100% Renewable Energy Summit on Tuesday November 14, 2017 at Salem State University in Salem, MA. Please attend and support the discussion of Massachusetts energy and climate options. Other hosts include Congressman Seth Moulton, State Senator Bruce Tarr, and State Senator Joan Lovely.

Please RSVP to this event by contacting Meghan Hassett at mhassett@environmentmassachusetts.org

Achieve Geothermal Interview on WBZ 1030

Tune in to WBZ 1030 on Saturday March 12, from 8-9pm to hear our own Lawrence Lessard being interviewed by Rick Scherer and Ali Alavi from Real Estate Radio. The interview will discuss Geothermal for commercial and residential properties. Learn how Geothermal works, about government incentives and more.

WBZblog_image

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Just Keeps Getting Better!

Geothermal Heating and Cooling equals efficiency! This is particularly true with the latest and most advanced 7 Series line introduced by WaterFurnace and provided by Achieve Renewable Energy. This state of the art system is considered the ‘best of the best’ and represents the industry’s FIRST fully launched variable capacity residential unit and the ONLY unit to surpass both the 41.0 EER and 5.3 COP efficiency barriers developed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

700A11-190

WaterFurnace 7 Series

How does it work? Unlike traditional geothermal units, which typically use one or two fixed compressor speeds, the 7 Series scales the speed up and down based on actual need. This allows the system to run more frequently at lower capacity thus resulting in an increase in efficiency that translates into over 30% savings over a typical Geo system and up to 70% savings on a more traditional fossil fuel system. The 7 Series works like a race car with a 10 speed transmission while traditional units are limited to 1 or 2.

The current market place for these variable speed or inverter-based units is just starting to develop. The only inverter-based GSHP in production that is readily available is the WaterFurnace 7 Series. Competing units from other manufacturers are anticipated in the coming year or two but are not currently available. Achieve has installed or is currently installing more WaterFurnace 7 Series units than any other WaterFurnace dealer in our area and we believe we have the most inverter-driven GSHP experience of any geothermal installer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Want to learn more? Check out this recent article on ProudGreenHome that touts this next generation in geothermal technology, particularly the WaterFurnace 7 Series: http://www.proudgreenhome.com/article/220845/Geothermal-heat-pumps-taking-the-next-step-in-efficiency.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is also convinced. Their new $3,000,000 Financing Program for Renewable Thermal Investment specifically targets the development of renewable thermal technologies including ‘inverter driven air and ground source heat pumps.’ To learn more about this program or to further educate yourself about all of the amazing benefits of renewable energy, visit the DOER website at http://www.mass.gov/eea/.

geopro-dealer

Achieve is a registered WaterFurnce Geopro Master Dealer

 

Geothermal, Ground Source Heat Pump or GeoExchange?

Geothermal Heat Pump Cycle

Geothermal Heat Pump, Ground Source Heat Pump or GeoExchange — which is it?

Mankind has used the relatively constant temperature of the shallow Earth for climate control for thousands of years with structures like root cellars and caves. Energy from the Earth has been used to heat and air condition buildings using mechanical heat pumps for decades, and during that time these systems have been called many different things. Some of the most common variations include geothermal heat pump, ground source heat pump and geoexchange. So how are these different? Well, they really are not. All of these names are meant to describe essentially the same thing. The process that these names describe is the movement of heat from the ground into a building for heating and the movement of heat from a building into the ground for cooling using a heat pump.

Why not just use one name?

One name would make things simpler but that is probably not going to happen right away. What should we call the highest efficiency, lowest operating cost and most climate friendly way to heat and cool commercial buildings and residences? I think we can call it anything we want. There are people who wrinkle their noses if someone says ‘geothermal’ instead of ‘ground source heat pump’ or ‘geoexchange’ but I don’t put much weight in nose wrinkling. As a professional I believe all three names are good but imperfect.

WaterFurnace 7 Series

WaterFurnace 7 Series

  • ‘Geothermal Heat Pump’ is the most common name but also the most maligned. On the most basic technical level it is correct because we are working with earth (geo) heat (thermal) using a heat pump. There is the potential to confuse geothermal heat pumps with high temperature geothermal energy. The biggest problem with this is when someone starts to think they need to live on the slope of a volcano to heat their building geothermally. In dealing with clients, I find that simply ‘Geothermal’ or just ‘Geo’ is the most common name for what we do in public use and this has become my most used name.
  • ‘Ground Source Heat Pump’ is a technically correct option that I find second most common after ‘geothermal’. I use ‘GSHP’ nearly as often as I do ‘Geothermal’ and think it is a fine choice that helps avoid visions of volcanos. One problem is that GSHP is the common term for the equipment and does not stress the underground component as well as Geothermal does.
  • ‘GeoExchange’ is my least favorite but I won’t wrinkle my nose when it is used. GeoExchange may be the most technically accurate of the three choices here. GeoExchange refers to the entire process of using the GSHP in conjunction with the underground (or underwater) heat exchanger.  I think this term was coined in an effort to market geothermal heat pump technology and differentiate it from high temperature geothermal energy projects. For me, GeoEchange does not roll of the tongue and I don’t hear many clients using the term.

In truth, none of the three is a perfect naming choice. The issue will resolve itself over time. In the end, I just wish for more people to use and think about any (or all) of the names. Heating and cooling using the treasure under our feet is important to energy policy and the more it is talked about the better. Whatever name you use, you are still talking about using the heat stored in the Earth to save 60-75% of HVAC operating cost and reduce HVAC carbon footprint by the same 60-75%.

 

 

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Just Keeps Getting Better

Geothermal Heating and Cooling equals efficiency!  This is particularly true with the latest and most advanced 7 Series line introduced by WaterFurnace and provided by Achieve Renewable Energy.  This state of the art system is considered the ‘best of the best’ and represents the industry’s FIRST fully launched variable capacity residential unit and the ONLY unit to surpass both the 41.0 EER and 5.3 COP efficiency barriers developed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

700A11-190

WaterFurnace 7 Series

How does it work?  Unlike traditional geothermal units, which typically use one or two fixed compressor speeds, the 7 Series scales the speed up and down based on actual need.  This allows the system to run more frequently at lower capacity thus resulting in an increase in efficiency that translates into over 30% savings over a typical Geo system and up to 70% savings on a more traditional fossil fuel system. The 7 Series works like a race car with a 10 speed transmission while traditional units are limited to 1 or 2.

The current market place for these variable speed or inverter-based units is just starting to develop. The only inverter-based GSHP in production that is readily available is the WaterFurnace 7 Series. Competing units from other manufacturers are anticipated in the coming year or two but are not currently available. Achieve has installed or is currently installing more WaterFurnace 7 Series units than any other WaterFurnace dealer in our area and we believe we have the most inverter-driven GSHP experience of any geothermal installer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Want to learn more?  Check out this recent article on ProudGreenHome that touts this next generation in geothermal technology, particularly the WaterFurnace 7 Series:  http://www.proudgreenhome.com/article/220845/Geothermal-heat-pumps-taking-the-next-step-in-efficiency.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is also convinced.  Their new $3,000,000 Financing Program for Renewable Thermal Investment specifically targets the development of renewable thermal technologies including ‘inverter driven air and ground source heat pumps.’   To learn more about this program or to further educate yourself about all of the amazing benefits of renewable energy, visit the DOER website at http://www.mass.gov/eea/.

geopro-dealer

Achieve is a registered WaterFurnce Geopro Master Dealer

 

New Incentive on the way for Geothermal and SHW

There is a new incentive coming and this is a big deal for a lot of our clients because it creates an income stream from their renewable energy systems! Explaining things is a little regulation wonky we’ll try to be brief. If you have read our website then you know that there are tax credits and sales tax exemptions for geothermal systems Geothermal Drilling Rigand solar hot water (SHW). The tax incentives are great but the renewable thermal options have lagged behind solar PV in some states like Massachusetts. Those installations also qualify for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) which are traded on an open market and provide ten years of income for owners of PV systems. Now both Massachusetts and New Hampshire are poised to be issuing renewable energy credits for each MWh of renewable thermal energy generated.

In Massachusetts, Senate bill S. 1593 is working its way through the legislature. The bill would include renewable thermal sources in the Solar Hot Water ArrayAlternative Energy Portfolio Standard. Achieve was at a meeting this week with Massachusetts Senator Downing who is the Senate chair for the Joint House/Senate Telecommunications, Utility and Energy Committee. Based upon discussion at the meeting, S. 1593 seems to be in a good position to move forward this year. Once the bill is passed, MassDOER will modify regulations to integrate renewable thermal technologies into the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS). There is an active set of regulation and trading system for the credits so adding in the renewable thermal technologies should not be too big a task. Achieve has had some informal discussions with regulators and expects the revised regulations will include a cutoff date for entering the program, an eligibility term, metering requirements and may have differing rules for residential and commercial projects regarding how the AECs are minted. One option that may be considered is providing owners of smaller systems a number of years of AEC ‘up front’ to further offset installation costs.

So what does this mean for your wallet? continue reading →

September NEGPA Meeting at Achieve on 9/10/13

On September 10th, Achieve Renewable Energy, LLC.  is hosting the New England Geothermal Professionals Association (NEGPA) Board Meeting. The meeting will be from 6 to 8 PM. A light meal and beverages will be provided. If non-members are interested in attending, please contact us at 877-646-9922 and we will make arrangements.

You can find out more about NEGPA at www.negpa.org.