The medieval village of Montieri (pop 1250) is located in the southern flank of the Larderello Geothermal District, about 15 kms SSE from the city of Larderello in Tuscany. The GEOCOM activities involve the whole community delivering three distinct actions: 1) Building a brand new and highly efficient district heating system to utilize high enthalpy geothermal steam from the Montieri-4 well (courtesy by ENEL) 2) Retrofitting a number of selected public buildings and 3) deploying 8.5 kW solar PV as part of the system integration scheme. The sheer volume and complexity of these investments alone would render the Montieri demonstration site to be the flagship component of the GEOCOM initiative. In addition to this the allocated budget further reinforces its special status among the project demo sites. The total budget of our project is just over 11.5 million Euro of which more than 8 million Euro comes from the Regional Government of Tuscany exclusively to support the activities in Montieri.
The complexity of all the preparatory works in terms of legal, regulation and financial aspects related to the dual-funding scheme inherently carried the potential of some delays starting from the very beginning. The volume of the planned investment coupled with the technical, social and environmental issues along the implementation of any project of such magnitude caused further deviation from the initially set schedule. Even by anticipating some of the forecasted delaying factors and having allocated an adequate amount of time in order to finalise the necessary framework, the original time frame had proved to be insufficient which resulted in the late start of delivering the Geothermal District Heating network and the related investment components. According to the original and very ambitious plans, the brand new geothermal district heating network in Montieri should have been commissioned in 2012. In reality, the delivery of this project item is expected by the end of 2014. For this reason at the current stage of the project no monitoring data is available to demonstrate the benefits the GEOCOM investment brought to the local community.