A Recovery for All of Us: Mayor de Blasio Announces Path to Provide Geothermal Utility Service

By District Energy posted 19 days ago




To accelerate the transition from fossil fuel energy sources to a city that runs on clean energy technologies, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced several critical steps the City will take to advance the implementation and integration of district geothermal systems. Geothermal heating and cooling is a highly efficient and clean technology that has been available for decades but remains largely underutilized in New York City. These systems can help replace fuel oil and natural gas to transform how the city heats and cools its one million buildings. 

“We can and must leave fossil fuels behind and choose to run the places where we live, work and go to school on clean technologies,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These are the solutions that we will continue to double down on to deliver on our climate goals and our promise of a healthy, clean, inclusive and safe New York City.”

“It's time to end the furnace as we know it,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate & Sustainability. “The future of heating and cooling is coming, and not a moment too soon. Geothermal technologies will play a key role in providing clean, affordable, and comfortable homes and workplaces while accelerating our transition away from fossil fuels."

“Geothermal systems such as the one DDC recently installed at the Bronx River House in Starlight Park typically provide a 20 percent energy savings versus conventional heating and cooling systems, and are completely carbon neutral” said DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “This is an important opportunity to bring these critical technologies to scale and expand those energy impacts citywide."

Geothermal, or ground-source, heat pumps rely on the constant temperature beneath the earth’s surface to provide carbon-free, efficient heating and cooling, and use less electricity than other types of heat pumps. New York City has already built building level geothermal projects throughout the city, including at FDNY Rescue Co. 2 in Brooklyn and PS 62 on Staten Island. By pursuing a geothermal district demonstration project, the City can illustrate the carbon and energy impact for multiple buildings relying on this shared infrastructure and maximize the environmental benefit. The City can play a unique role in unlocking these geothermal district systems and accelerate decarbonization with a focus on environmental justice impacts.

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