CM Gennaro Celebrates Passage of Law Clearing Way for Geothermal Energy

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PHOTO CAPTION: Speaking out in support of alternate forms of energy: Councilman James F. Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) discusses geothermal energy before a vote on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 by the New York City Council to clear the way for the technology to be implemented in buildings throughout the city. Pictured (l. to r.): Council members Andy King, Diana Reyna, Gennaro, Gale Brewer and Council Speaker Christine Quinn. (Credit: William Alatriste)

Councilman James F. Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) lauded the passage Tuesday of the latest in a series of measures meant to secure a sustainable future and local ‘green’ jobs for the City of New York.

The bill, Int. 694-A, clears the way for the study of geothermal energy – an already existing technology that harnesses the energy from the sun’s rays stored in the upper level of the Earth’s crust to heat homes and businesses in the winter and cool them in the summer.

“New Yorkers may not realize that there is an unlimited supply of clean, renewable energy right underneath their feet. Geothermal energy involves harnessing the power of the sun’s rays stored in the upper levels of the Earth’s crust. This bill clears the way for a comprehensive study into unlocking this enormous energy potential for homes and businesses throughout our city,” said Gennaro, chair of the Council Committee on Environmental Protection. “Already there are local ‘green’ businesses ready to reap the economic benefits of geothermal energy. I want to thank Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg for their unwavering support in building a sustainable future for all New Yorkers.”

Geothermal energy works by tapping into the Earth’s constant temperature, just below the Earth’s surface, where the temperature is a stable 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

In winter, geothermal systems transfer heat from underground into buildings. In summer, the system is reversed, transferring heat from buildings down into the ground.

“Unlike solar or wind, geothermal is a consistent source of energy. No matter what’s happening on the surface, the energy stored just under our feet will be available to provide for the heating and cooling needs of families and workers throughout our city,” Gennaro said.

This bill requires the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability to create a map of the city showing where geothermal energy systems are appropriate based on geologic conditions. That map will then be made available to the public.

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