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New Large-Scale Thermal Program Supports Decarbonizing Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water Systems in Buildings, Including Designs for Multiple Buildings Served by Thermal Energy Networks   

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $10 million is now available for large-scale thermal projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heating, cooling, and hot water in buildings. The new Large-Scale Thermal Program will support projects for large buildings or networks of buildings that show replicable designs and business models for significantly reducing energy use, maximizing energy recovery, and improving climate and grid resilience.

“Investing in the design and deployment of clean heating and cooling systems is another part of New York’s strategy to decarbonize buildings and lower emissions across the State,” Governor Hochul said. “With this new program, we are creating energy efficient and comfortable buildings for working, living, and learning across the State.”

The new Large-Scale Thermal Program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will competitively award funding to colleges and universities, multi-family complexes, medical campuses and communities for projects that use heat pumps and low carbon thermal resources such as geothermal, wastewater, waste heat, surface water, and thermal energy storage to effectively integrate different clean heating and cooling systems and equipment into their buildings. Project sites may consist of a single large building or multiple co-located buildings (e.g., multiple buildings served by a shared thermal system and/or resource), either existing or new construction.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Heating of occupied spaces and production of domestic hot water are challenging to decarbonize in buildings, underscoring the importance of this new program which will provide support for projects that show replicable models for reducing energy use and increasing climate and grid resilience. As we continue to embrace and implement new, innovative technologies such as large-scale thermal, New York State will continue progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while improving residents’ quality of life with clean, efficient, state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems.”

As part of this competitive solicitation, NYSERDA will prioritize projects that are located in disadvantaged communities (DACs), as defined by the Climate Justice Working Group, or that serve low-income residents, consistent with the Climate Act requirement for at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of benefits from clean energy investments are directed to DACs. Designs for projects serving residential buildings will be required to prepare and deliver a Customer Engagement and Protection Plan, which will demonstrate how customers will be educated about and recruited to connect to the system as well as their rights and responsibilities for connection, including protection from significant energy cost increases. A prerequisite to apply for design cost share is a completed feasibility study whether through the Community Heat Pump Systems program, FlexTech program, or another funding source.

The deadline for proposals is 3:00 p.m. on September 26, 2024. NYSERDA will hold an informational webinar on July 11, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. for stakeholders to learn what projects are eligible and how to apply. 

Today’s announcement builds on NYSERDA’s progress made under the Community Heat Pump Systems Program, a pilot program launched in February of 2021 to support feasibility studies, detailed design, or construction of a thermal energy network. Through the program, NYSERDA provided funding to over 50 project sites at different stages of project development. This program supports the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050, and ensure at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits from investments be directed to disadvantaged communities.

Buildings are one of the most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State and through NYSERDA and utility programs, over $6.8 billion is being invested to decarbonize buildings. By improving energy efficiency in buildings and advancing statewide installations of onsite storage, renewables, and electric vehicle charging equipment, the State will reduce its carbon pollution and achieve the State's ambitious target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtu by 2025, the equivalent of powering 1.8 million homes.

This program is funded through NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF) and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)


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