New York makes $3.8 million available for ‘Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge’

geothermal heating

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced the availability of $3.8 million for the launch of a statewide Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge, an initiative designed to help stimulate financing and installation of large-scale geothermal systems at state and local governmental entities, public and private schools and healthcare facilities. The initiative promotes clean and sustainable energy use and directly supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

The Challenge provides New York facilities with the opportunity to apply for an analysis to determine whether their buildings are best suited for the installation of geothermal pumps (i.e., ground-source energy heat pumps) for heating and cooling of buildings, by transferring heat to or from the ground. The technology also helps New Yorkers save on energy costs. Eligible organizations that can apply for a geothermal assessment include state and local governmental entities (state agencies, fire departments, and water and sewer districts), and public or private K-12 schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and nursing homes. NYSERDA and NYPA are jointly administering the Challenge.

“Geothermal energy can be an ideal, cost-conscious, and clean solution to heating and cooling buildings in New York,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “NYPA is excited to partner with NYSERDA on this initiative. We look forward to seeing the implementation of clean geothermal systems at many sites throughout the state as this Challenge gets underway.”

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The Challenge supports Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a statewide energy system that is clean, resilient and affordable for all New Yorkers by providing technical support, financial assistance and implementation services to accelerate the adoption of geothermal systems. Applications will be accepted until 75 eligible applications are received or through March 30, 2018, whichever comes first. The 75 eligible applicants will receive a summary report at no cost with quantitative analysis of the technical and economic viability of their potential geothermal systems.

Of the 75 applications, up to 25 of the most viable sites will be awarded with a more refined economic analysis and building energy model for their proposed geothermal systems and up to $125,000 in matching funds per site for detailed design studies. Once qualification criteria are met, participants can seek project capital to proceed with project construction through NYPA financing and NYSERDA rebates. NYPA, NYSERDA and state utilities also have various energy efficiency programs available to help further reduce energy costs.

Entities seeking to leverage geothermal energy systems to meet their heating and cooling needs can submit an application on the Geothermal Challenge website through March 30, 2018.

— Solar Builder magazine

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