Winning Projects to Explore Clean Energy Options at 600 Buildings with Two-Thirds of Funding Directed to Projects that Support Disadvantaged Communities

July 19, 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $4 million in awards to 23 projects under the first round of the Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot program to advance community thermal networks that harness geothermal and waste energy to heat and cool buildings. The winning projects will explore clean energy options at 600 buildings to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution with two-thirds of funding being directed to projects that support disadvantaged communities. This announcement supports Governor Cuomo's nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act including an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

"Community thermal networks create the opportunity to scale up building electrification by providing healthier places to live and work to communities across the State," Governor Cuomo said. "These projects showcase how we can pair new, clean energy infrastructure in our communities while also delivering long-term energy savings for residents, including those in low income and disadvantaged communities."

"New York State is investing in community thermal networks to both advance clean energy options and deliver long-term energy savings to communities in need," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot Program will provide healthy living and working spaces and bring New York closer to our nation-leading goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050."

The Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot Program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and seeks to create community thermal networks by connecting multiple buildings located in proximity to each other through shared heat pump piping and infrastructure. A community thermal strategy accelerates the decarbonization of New York's building stock - moving from a building-by-building approach to a block-by-block and community-by-community model.

Today's announcement includes projects that were awarded in three categories: scoping studies, construction projects and best practices guidebooks to ensure that new, innovative models for thermal networks will be developed to maximize project scope and community impact. The pilot program also focuses on exploring waste energy discarded by other buildings or community sources to supply the heat pumps. Funding for additional proposals is still available for scoping studies, construction projects and best practices guidebooks and in the area of design studies.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, "Heat pumps provide innovative technology to deliver clean, affordable energy to homes and businesses, which is a game changer in the fight against climate change, particularly in underserved communities. Together with our partners, we are creating pathways and resources that will lower carbon emissions from buildings, improve access to clean energy, and empower sustainability across New York State."

Awarded Projects

Scoping Study Awards: 21 of the 23 awarded projects are scoping studies, which are subject to contract execution, and will look at the feasibility of installing heat pump networks. This first step in assessment will include more than 600 buildings and represent more than 40-million square feet of occupied spaces including colleges, hospital, multifamily residential complexes, commercial buildings, and mixed-use complexes. Ten of the studies focus on disadvantaged communities and will determine how to realize community thermal heat pump networks to benefit more than 8,000 affordable households.

  • Capital Region: one project
    • Existing Buildings, Multiple Owners
      • City of Troy downtown neighborhood - CHA Consulting, Inc., Troy, NY*
  • Central New York: two projects
    • Existing Buildings, Multiple Owners
      • City of Syracuse downtown neighborhood - Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, CHA Consulting, Inc., Syracuse, NY*
    • Existing Buildings, Single Owner Campus
      • Syracuse University - M/E Engineering, P.C., Syracuse, NY*
  • Finger Lakes: one project
    • Existing Buildings, Single Owner Campus
      • University of Rochester, Wendel Energy Services, LLC, Rochester, NY
  • Mid-Hudson: four projects
    • New Construction, Single Owner Campus
      • Pratt Landing mixed-use complex - Endurant Energy, New Rochelle, NY
    • Existing Buildings, Single Owner Campuses
      • Masonic Community New Rochelle - CHA Consulting, Inc., New Rochelle, NY
      • Phelps Hospital - Willdan, Sleepy Hollow, NY
      • The Children's Village educational facility - MEP Geothermal Engineering, Dobbs Ferry, NY
  • Mohawk Valley: two projects
    • Existing Buildings, Multiple Owners
      • City of Utica downtown neighborhood - Joseph Technology Corporation, Utica, NY*
      • City of Oneonta majority of buildings in the city - Ramboll, Oneonta, NY*
  • New York City: nine projects
    • New Construction, Multiple Owners
      • Innovation Queens mixed-use complex - Endurant Energy, Queens, NY*
    • New Construction, Single Owner Campuses
      • The Peninsula mixed-use complex - Endurant Energy, Bronx, NY*
      • Gowanus Green mixed-use complex - Endurant Energy, Brooklyn, NY
      • Fleet Financial Eastern Emerald mixed-use complex - MEP Geothermal Engineering, PLLC, Queens, NY
    • Existing Buildings, Single Owner Campus
      • Pratt Institute - Antares Group, Inc., Brooklyn, NY
      • Spring Creek Towers multifamily residential complex - Endurant Energy, Brooklyn, NY*
      • Barnard College - MEP Geothermal Engineering, PLLC, New York, NY
      • Rockefeller Center - AKF Engineers, LLP, New York, NY
      • Wagner College - Endurant Energy, Staten Island, NY
  • Western New York: two projects
    • Existing Buildings, Multiple Owners
      • National Fuel Gas Community in Buffalo - Wendel Energy Services, LLC, Buffalo, NY*
    • Existing Building, Single Owner Campus
      • Silo City mixed-use complex - Endurant Energy, Buffalo, NY*

Construction Award: One demonstration project, subject to contract execution, will be built in a disadvantaged community in Coney Island and feature a pair of multifamily residential towers and 139 affordable housing apartment units.

  • New York City
    • New Construction, Single Owner
      • LCOR mixed-use complex - Ecosave, Inc., Coney Island, NY*

Best Practices Guidebook Award: One best practices guidebook, subject to contract execution, will focus on the pathway for pursuing community-style heat pumps to help communities, site owners and residents identify the opportunities to install heat pumps, learn how to highlight their value to stakeholders, and recruit experts.

  • Statewide
    • Online resource
      • Joseph Technology Corporation, A Project Development Best Practices Guidebook

*Located in a disadvantaged community.

Learn more about the projects awarded by visiting NYSERDA's website.

Assembly Member Michael Cusick, Chair of the NYS Assembly Energy Committee said, "As we continue to pursue ambitious energy and climate goals, it is crucial that we embrace innovative technologies and creative solutions. Decarbonizing our building infrastructure is a crucial component of reducing our overall emissions and improving energy efficiency. I am glad to see Staten Island's own Wagner College was among those granted awards for this program."

Senator Kevin Parker, Chair of the NYS Senate Energy Committee said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for their latest initiative to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution throughout the state, while making disadvantaged communities a priority. The Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot Program will be an asset to thousands of affordable housing residents and I look forward to the expansion of this project overtime."

Announced by Governor Cuomo in February 2021, the Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot Program helps reduce the capital upfront costs of converting to a heat pump system. Eligible teams can be building owners and consultants or developers that submit proposals with ground-source, air-source, water-source, or multi-source community thermal systems.

Buildings account for more than 33 percent of carbon emissions in New York State, and ground-source heat pumps are highly energy efficient and cost-effective systems that can reduce emissions from buildings through clean heat. The systems provide heating and cooling by transferring heat to or from the ground, water, or air sources. Heat pumps are proven to be more efficient, increase energy savings and provide a higher level of comfort than traditional fossil fuel heating systems.

This program is funded through the Clean Energy Fund, and this investment is part of New York's nation-leading building electrification efforts under the New York State Clean Heat Implementation Plan, jointly administered by the investor-owned utilities and NYSERDA, that will commit nearly $700 million to building electrification solutions, including a variety of heat pump technologies.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.