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O&R Seeks Site Developer for Thermal Energy Heat Pump Pilots

Orange & Rockland (O&R) seeks a development partner to build two utility-owned pilot projects which will create and deliver clean, thermal energy to power ground-source heat pumps for heating and cooling.

Orange & Rockland (O&R) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking a development partner to build two utility-owned pilot projects which will create and deliver clean, thermal energy to power ground-source heat pumps for heating and cooling.

O&R is planning to develop two pilot sites for utility thermal energy networks. This RFI is requesting information for potential pilot sites across two different site types:  new residential or mixed-use community development and an existing community for retrofitting existing buildings with thermal energy.

O&R seeks to develop these pilot projects to provide benefits to participating customers while achieving key learning objectives, testing the scalability of thermal energy networks, and informing future regulatory policy.

As part of the pilots, O&R will design, install, and maintain shared geothermal technology that can provide customers thermal energy. Customers will own and operate the ground-source heat pump equipment required to use the thermal energy for heating and cooling purposes.

O&R President and CEO Robert Sanchez said, “These pilots are intended to showcase the benefits of installing and operating a thermal energy network and to determine the suitable business models and appropriate regulatory framework to manage such a network. Thermal energy networks can provide a cleaner, more efficient source of electrified heating and may play an integral role in New York State’s clean energy future.”

The company is seeking information on potential sites to install utility thermal energy networks as part of the Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act, a New York State law enacted last July and its corresponding NYSPSC order issued in September. These projects will be built in accordance with those regulations.

Each of the selected sites must be located in New York geographically within O&R’s gas and electric service territory. O&R has filed with the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) a compliance filing for two pilots, one of which must be located in a disadvantaged community.

Once the sites have been selected, O&R will work together with its selected sites and partners to finalize the thermal energy network designs and file the proposed pilot projects with the NYSPSC for funding approval. Only projects approved by the NYSPSC will be able to proceed as planned. 

In order to satisfy the intent of the PSC Order Case 22-M-0429, these pilots must take place over the next two years. As a result, projects that can meet an 18-month installation timeline are highly desirable. O&R understands that some projects may not be able to meet the anticipated project schedule but still encourages the submittal of those projects because it may be possible to break the projects into phases. O&R is willing to work with the respondents on the timing of their projects. Respondents’ proposals are due January 31, 2023.

For more information, please review the RFI at Thermal Energy Network Pilot | Orange & Rockland (

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company), and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.