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."