Community Thermal Systems

A strategic network of heat distribution pipes serving multiple buildings

The thermal needs within buildings, such as comfort heating of occupied spaces and production of domestic hot water, are challenges to decarbonize, but are crucial to address in order to meet New York State’s nation-leading climate goals.

Energy-efficient heat pump technology, powered by renewable electricity (either generated on site, or purchased from the power grid), provides a viable option.

Heat pumps are frequently installed to serve the needs of a single building. To leverage economy-of-scale and to expand clean energy options for customers who have insufficient footprint space to serve their own needs, heat pumps can be integrated with a network of distribution pipes to serve multiple buildings in a configuration referred to as Community Thermal or District Thermal.

Community Thermal systems can address the needs of new construction projects as well as retrofits of existing buildings, and can be applicable to single-owner campuses such as:

  • Colleges/universities
  • Medical campuses
  • Residential complexes
  • Or even multi-owner nodes (such as downtown corridors).

NYSERDA has been authorized to administer a $15 million program [PDF]Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. to support development and demonstration of low-carbon Community Thermal Systems installations.

This program drives exploration of business models that can cost-effectively grow this market to scale through support for:

  • Scoping
  • Design
  • Construction

Upcoming Program Opportunity

NYSERDA intends to issue a competitive solicitation for this program and is inviting stakeholder feedback on the following draft of the solicitation (STRAWMAN). The following files include instructions on how to furnish feedback (NYSERDA will give thoughtful consideration to feedback received by close of business November 6, 2020).

A Zoom Meeting will be held on October 20, 2020, to discuss the STRAWMAN.

RegisterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. for the Zoom Meeting.

A recording of the Zoom Meeting will be posted soon after it occurs on October 20, 2020 (please check back here for the link).

The STRAWMAN consists of eleven (11) files:

A list of solution providers who have self-identified as being active in the heat pump community thermal marketplace, and references to some of their projects, is available: