Recently, I spoke with Nathalie Assens at Project Manager at ZVI Construction. ZVI Construction is a medium size, three-decade old, design-build construction company that does a lot of work with universities around Boston as well as internationally. Nathalie enrolled in both HeatSpring’s geothermal and solar training programs because their clients were interested in saving money on energy. Since then, ZVI has completed more geothermal projects, including the first geothermal project at Boston University.
According to Assens, ZVI Construction finds the university market interesting and attractive for energy efficiency upgrades because they own their buildings forever, giving them a long-term view (and appreciation) on how to reduce energy costs. Over time, those long-term relationships begin to feel more like a partnership. Rather than merely selling systems, ZVI also performs other construction and maintenance work.
Though Nathalie has already realized a huge potential for geothermal applications, she also sees the opportunity for solar. She attended HeatSpring’s solar PV boot camp to understand how to integrate solar into their systems and better advise clients. Although it’s not obvious because the technologies are different, she found that there is a huge overlap between clients that “get” geothermal and those who are interested in solar. The challenge is finding the right person and organization that “gets” that combining solar and geothermal is a no-brainer.