New England’s largest energy utility, Eversource, is on its way to becoming the first gas utility in the country to build and run a “networked geothermal system.” The pilot project, which broke ground this week in Framingham, will use a network of deep wells and pipes to provide climate-friendly heating and cooling for 37 buildings.

If successful, advocates say they hope the model can be scaled to help the state meet its clean energy goals and provide a new business opportunity for gas utilities as the country weans itself off of fossil fuels.

“We are really excited about this pilot project and want to see the results that come from it, [but] I think we really do need to think about all options here. We can’t just think, ‘oh, this is our solution,’ ” said Kyle Murray, the Massachusetts program director of Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group.

“We need to be thinking creatively about all potential solutions and that, that does include the potential decommissioning of gas utilities in the future as well.”

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