Program Closed

Application Period Has Ended

The application period for the Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge closed on April 30, 2018, 5:00 p.m. EST

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Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge

Facility managers and building owners across New York know that heating and cooling is the largest source of a building’s energy consumption. To help lower ongoing and volatile energy costs in colleges and universities, K-12 schools, government buildings, and healthcare facilities, NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) created the Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge, to accelerate the adoption of high quality ground-source heat pump (GSHP) systems.

GSHP systems use consistent subsurface temperatures to heat and cool buildings. Through the Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge, NYSERDA and NYPA are identifying the best candidates for large, multi-building GSHP systems and provide them with free technical assistance and financial support to install this cost-effective, comfortable, and clean technology.

Who is Eligible

The Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge was open only to:

  • State and local governments entities, K–12 schools, college and university campuses, and healthcare organizations in New York State
  • Facilities with heating and cooling requirements of at least 1.2MM Btu per hour (100 refrigeration tons or 40,000 square feet of conditioned space for one or more buildings combined)

Note that applicants could not have active commitments for studies of GSHP systems from NYPA, NYSERDA, or their local utility.


GSHP technology addresses many of the issues associated with conventional heating and cooling systems. GSHP systems can:

  • Lower costs
  • Provide a long-term heating and cooling solution with little maintenance
  • Achieve energy conservation goals and requirements
  • Enhance reliability and resiliency
  • Improve building performance and comfort
  • Lower harmful greenhouse gases emissions

The owners of the first 75 eligible sites to participate in the Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge were able to take the first step by using a free summary report provided by NYSERDA and NYPA. The free report  included a quantitative analysis of the technical and economic viability of their potential GSHP systems and a review of important qualitative factors specific to implementing their potential systems.

Eligible applicants determined to have the best sites for GSHP systems will be offered the opportunity to receive financial assistance for detailed energy audits and schematic designs for a GSHP system.

Selection Processes and More Opportunities

Eligible applicants will receive a free summary report mentioned in the Benefits section. The best among these will have other opportunities to support GHSP systems at their sites available to them.

To determine this next portion of the challenge, NYSERDA and NYPA will rank and evaluate the 75 eligible applications based on:

  • Accessibility of data for screening analysis
  • Economic benefits
  • Geographic diversity
  • Greenhouse gas reductions
  • Presence of a curriculum framework, professional development laboratory, or other demonstrated commitment to sustainability
  • Readiness to implement
  • Technical viability

Top-ranked applicants will receive a refined economic analysis and building energy model for their proposed GSHP systems at no cost. The best sites will qualify for up to $125,000 in matching funds per site for detailed design studies and may be eligible for additional project financing.

How to Apply

The application period for the Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge closed on April 30, 2018.


Email for more information.