The New York City Housing Authority is looking into whether geothermal energy is the future when it comes to heating and cooling the agency's hundreds of buildings, but there's a push in Brooklyn to get the technology all set up now. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Red Hook residents have gotten used to the sight of supposedly temporary boilers set up throughout the public housing complex, but the Red Hook Houses have depended on these mobile units for more than 17 months, ever since Hurricane Sandy hit, wiping out the old boilers.
FEMA will be giving the city housing authority $100 million to get new ones, but Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams says there's a better way to go.
"We want to move the borough towards sustainability, not the way we have done things in the past," he said.
Adams is calling for geothermal technology to modernize the heat, hot water and cooling systems in New York City Housing Authority buildings, starting with the ones damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Red Hook and Coney Island. On a diagram, he showed NY1 how the environmentally friendly system works.
"Go through the earth's natural systems and heat the air, and then come up and go to the building and allow the heat to come through," Adams said.
The idea is to maintain a steady temperature year-round. Electricity is still used, but to a lesser extent, so there is a cost savings.
Adams said window air conditioning units here could be a thing of the past if it's successful.
The hybrid geothermal technology is already being used in a pilot project at a NYCHA building on East 28th Street in Manhattan, but results are still being evaluated. Also, NYCHA said the system can't be installed in all of its buildings because certain conditions need to be in place at the location.
Adams said he's also looking at using geothermal technology at Borough Hall.
"We know there's some items that we have to get past. The subway is there. But we believe experts can come in and see the possibilities of actually having Borough Hall being the first Borough Hall to have a geothermal used for heating and cooling," he said.
Adams said he'll use his discretionary funds to launch a study to see if it can work here.
"It's lead by example. L-E-E-D by example," he said.
He wants Brooklyn to lead the way.