Taitem Engineering, The GreyEdge Group, and Aztech Geothermal have partnered with HeatSmart Tompkins and City of Ithaca stakeholders to undertake the first community-scale geothermal heat pump system as part of the Ithaca Green New Deal initiative to transition the entire city to carbon neutrality by 2030.
Achieving the goal of carbon neutrality requires that all available local renewable energy sources must be tapped for heating, cooling, thermal storage, electric power generation and storage, and vehicle charging energy services.
Lisa Marshall, HeatSmart Tompkins Program Director and a key leader in the statewide Renewable Heat Now coalition, will discuss the promise of community geothermal at the next quarterly meeting of the Ithaca 2030 District Partners on June 15th at 4:30 pm.
The reality is that many small businesses and households cannot afford the investment in an individual geothermal system. The community loop approach, which can provide heating, air conditioning, and hot water via a water pipe and heat pump instead of a gas line and furnace or boiler, has the potential to overcome the cost barrier. It also addresses the challenge of insufficient footprint space to install individual systems.
To scale up renewable heating and cooling, HeatSmart Tompkins and its partners envision replicable renewable energy building blocks that enable existing neighborhoods to be transformed into Sustainable Renewable Energy Communities.
NYSERDA is funding feasibility studies for these kinds of networked geothermal systems, and several sites in Tompkins County are being evaluated, including Ithaca's Southside neighborhood.
The first round in the Community Heat Pump Systems Pilot program awarded nearly $4 million to 23 projects in July 2021. The winning projects involved 600 buildings across the state, with two-thirds of the funding going to projects in disadvantaged communities.
Be sure to attend the meeting on June 15th to hear how community geothermal can help put Ithaca on the road to carbon neutrality.