• Business Business

This city's newest development will utilize an energy source 'literally beneath our feet' — and help residents save money

"The public is generally unaware."

1 Java Street making NYC apartments run on underground heat, geothermal heat pump system

Photo Credit: Lendlease

An apartment complex in New York City will be quite unique once it's built, as its energy source will come from directly beneath the soil.

As of June, the site was merely a large mud pit in Brooklyn, but machines were busy making holes in the ground with the goal of harvesting the energy below, as reported by Canary Media.

The old industrial area at 1 Java Street is being turned into a mixed-use project, which won't rely on dirty energy sources for its energy needs, unlike most buildings in New York City. 

Instead, all 834 rental units will extract heat from or transfer heat into the ground to fulfill their heating, cooling, and hot water requirements. The project is being carried out by Lendlease, an international construction and real estate company, along with its partner Aware Super

The $700 million development was initiated in April. It involves constructing two apartment towers, three smaller interconnected buildings, and a public park with a view of the Manhattan skyline. 

This is big news for the environment since electricity and heat production create the most pollution. Burning coal, oil, and gas still accounts for more than 80% of global energy production.

The good news is that renewable energy is now the cheapest power option in most parts of the world, and it could provide 65% of the world's total electricity supply by 2030. However, today only around 50,000 geothermal heat pumps are installed in the U.S. — a small percentage of the country's millions of buildings. 

"Geothermal resources are literally beneath our feet and hidden in the ground," Alexis McKittrick, a program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office, told Canary Media. "The public is generally unaware that geothermal resources exist and could be used for a wide array of applications."

Upon completion in 2025, the project is expected to be the largest residential endeavor in New York State to utilize a geothermal heat-pump system.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider