NEW YORK — New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that up to $15 million is available through a new program to pilot the use of community thermal systems to reduce buildings' greenhouse gas emissions.

The new Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot Program will accept proposals to study, design, and construct community thermal systems using heat pump technology, as well as produce a best practices guidebook.

"New York is confronting climate change head-on by using innovative new technologies to build cleaner and greener communities," Governor Cuomo said. "Building heating systems are a significant source of our state's greenhouse gas emissions, and this pilot program will allow us to explore the use of community thermal technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a healthier, cleaner, and greener New York for all."

The program can help building owners reduce the upfront capital costs of converting to a heat pump, such as drilling, construction and installation, and optimize building performance. Medical campuses, college and universities, city main streets, business districts, new construction developments, and other organizations could potentially participate in this type of energy system.

The Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot program will select proposals on a competitive basis for ground-source, air-source, water-source, or multi-source community thermal systems. Teams consisting of building owners and consultants or developers are eligible to submit a proposal to one of four categories that aligns with their current stage of project development.

The categories for which proposals will be accepted are as follows:

Category A: Scoping Study

  • Up to $100,000 per project is available to conduct a feasibility study to determine if a community thermal system would be the most practical and cost-effective method for heating and cooling a group of buildings or new construction development.

Category B: Detailed Design Study

  • Up to $500,000 per project is available to perform a detailed study evaluating issues, such as the financial and legal responsibilities of those building owners who wish to join the community thermal system, with the goal of bringing the project design to a shovel-ready status.

Category C: Construction

  • Up to $4 million per project is available for the construction of a shovel-ready community thermal system.

Category D: Best Practices Guidebook

  • Up to $250,000 per project is available to produce a best practices guidebook in order to streamline the pursuit of future community thermal systems and address logistical challenges faced during design and/or construction.

“Community thermal will allow many different types of buildings to be served through a collective heating and cooling system, helping to lower energy consumption and costs, and accelerate us toward Governor Cuomo's visionary and historic climate and clean energy goals,” NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said. "The building sector is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gasses in our state which provides significant opportunities to leverage and implement community-scale thermal systems and low carbon heating and cooling solutions across our building sector."

"Reducing greenhouse emissions is a major proponent to ensuring a clean energy future for our state,” said New York Senator Kevin Parker. “Governor Cuomo's latest announcement allocating funding for community thermal systems will play a huge role in reaching our clean energy goals. I applaud Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for making clean energy a priority in the midst of a pandemic."

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!