Affordable housing project to use geothermal energy

The first geothermal project to drill deeper than 500 feet launched Wednesday in Ossining.
The project, located at 30 Water St., is being headed by WBP development which is developing a mixed-use building with 109 affordable housing units that will be heated and cooled using geothermal energy, a renewable energy source.
A new law, sponsored by State Sen. Pete Harckham, made the project possible.
The Geothermal Borehole Law was enacted in September and allows geothermal boreholes to be deeper than 500 feet.
"Geothermal is by far the most efficient form of heating and cooling," said Sen. Harckham.
The new law is also helping New York state decarbonize and open up new markets for clean heating and cooling technologies in urban areas. Less boreholes are needed when deeper holes can be drilled making projects on smaller plots of land more viable.
"We are going to save six or seven wells, which allows us to not only save money on the wells, but allows us to have a more viable plan that we can repeat in other locations in Westchester County where sites are tight," said William G. Balter, president of WBP Development.
The previous law was prohibitive to creating geothermal energy because the Department of Environmental Conservation applied regulations developed for oil and gas wells to geothermal boreholes even though they do not involve injection or extraction from the ground.
The project is also helping clean up the site, which is a contaminated brownfield property.
Once completed, the affordable housing apartments will cost 30% of renter's monthly income.