Dorchester turns up the heat with new green initiative

The Franklin Field Apartments community has been selected for the the city’s first networked geothermal pilot project.

The Mayor, wearing a blue dress, delivers remarks to a a crowd of Franklin Field tenants gathered in front of her official podium.

National Grid will develop the new geothermal network, with design beginning this year.

Photo by Isabel Leon for the Mayor’s Office

One pathway to a greener Boston might be right under our noses — and feet. Franklin Field Apartments in Dorchester will soon be the site of the city’s first networked geothermal pilot project, providing an alternative to fossil fuel-based heating.

The initiative, which is part of National Grid’s Networked Geothermal Demonstration Program, will replace a gas boiler loop that serves 129 units across seven buildings within the Franklin Field community. The new system will regulate indoor temperatures by pumping heat from the ground inside during the winter, and forcing heat back into the earth for a cooling effect in the summer. Construction will begin in 2025.

The community’s seven buildings will be fossil-free by the end of the pilot, working towards Mayor Wu’s goal of eliminating fossil fuels from the Boston Housing Authority by 2030.

The city also secured $1 million in federal funding to swap 80 gas stoves in Dorchester with new electric replacements, half of which will be installed in Franklin Field Apartments.