Alphabet’s “moonshot factory” is slinging out a new independent company dedicated to bringing affordable home geothermal energy to the masses: Dandelion. For years, the popularity of geothermal heating systems has been heating up, from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to Harvard’s HouseZero and beyond. But the high upfront costs of drilling geothermal wells has kept the technique from going mainstream.
"We started this project because we realized millions of homeowners are using expensive, truck-delivered fuels because they don't have access to better options today," said Dandelion CEO Kathy Hannun in a statement. "We knew if installing a geothermal heat pump was a simpler and more affordable process, these homeowners would have access to a better product that's also better for the climate."
Dandelion thinks it can make home geothermal systems de rigeur by driving down costs and amping up convenience. The company’s biggest asset in this fight is a new kind of drill, developed over years of prototyping, that’s purpose-built for drilling geothermal wells. The technology can install geothermal ground loops in just half a day, as opposed to the typical three or four days, and it leaves the majority of the yard undisturbed.
Dandelion is rolling out first in New York state, and already signing up customers.