CORRECTING and REPLACING Columbia University Granted Landmark Deep-Drilling Permit With Support from Salas O’Brien LLC and Brightcore Energy LLC

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Headline of release should read: Columbia University Granted Landmark Deep-Drilling Permit With Support from Salas O’Brien LLC and Brightcore Energy LLC (instead of Landmark Deep-drilling Permit Granted to Brightcore Energy for Columbia University Geothermal Study).

The updated release reads:


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Mineral Resources (DMR) has granted Columbia University a permit to drill a closed-loop geothermal test bore to a depth of 800 feet, the first such permit to drill to this depth, for this purpose, in the State of New York. Due to the comparatively smaller surface footprints available on typically constrained Manhattan project sites, deeper bore depths are required for optimal system performance and efficiency.

Pursuant to Columbia’s greater sustainability commitments, vertical heat exchange is being explored as a means of decarbonization on the Manhattanville campus. Beyond approvals and coordination with New York’s multiple infrastructure entities, drilling deeper than 500’ is subject to further standards of evaluation by the DMR.

DMR permitting was coordinated by the engineering firm Salas O’Brien, with the support of Brightcore Energy LLC.

Hany Ayoub, Deputy Vice President of Manhattanville Development, Columbia University: “Columbia University fervently embraces the utilization of renewable resources in all our new development projects, signifying our steadfast commitment to break free from fossil fuel dependence and actualize our decarbonization goals. Even as we expand our campus footprint at Manhattanville we seek to lead on climate with innovative solutions that will ensure we will meet the science-based targets set forth in Plan 2030, our 10-year sustainability plan that aligns the University with the Paris Agreement and commits it to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. To that end, the groundbreaking 800-foot depth bore will unlock vital geothermal exchange field capacity insights, forming the foundation of our design approach to fulfill the heating demands of a prominent facility currently in development. Moreover, the invaluable data obtained from the geothermal test bore will further assess the possibility of exporting surplus thermal capacity to our campus’ central energy facility, bolstering our overall decarbonization strategies.”

Jeff Urlaub, PE, Salas O’Brien Principal: “The State of New York is ahead of most of the nation in supporting transformational decarbonization, enabled by renewable energy strategies such as geothermal heat exchange. Columbia University is demonstrating the viability of geothermal for New York City.”

Mike Richter, President of Brightcore Energy: “We are so very pleased with this permit award. For obvious reasons, the engineering plan receives extra scrutiny and speaks volumes to the expertise and capabilities of our geothermal team.”

About Brightcore Energy

Brightcore Energy is a leading provider of end-to-end clean energy solutions to the commercial and institutional market. Solutions include high-efficiency heating and cooling systems (geothermal) for both new construction and existing building retrofits, commercial-grade solar, LED lighting and controls, energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, smart building solutions and other emerging technologies. Brightcore’s turnkey, end-to-end solutions encompasses preliminary modeling & feasibility, design & engineering, financing & incentive management, construction & implementation, and system performance monitoring.

About Salas O’Brien

Salas O’Brien is a North American leader in energy planning and the planning, design, and implementation of geothermal systems, central energy plants, and district energy systems. To date, we have completed over 400 geothermal projects, providing over 84,000 tons of system capacity. Our breadth of expertise forms a 360-degree perspective on eliminating carbon, from renewable supply to sustainable use. We support long-term capital decisions with resilient, flexible, high-performing systems that reduce operating costs and enhance end user experience. With more than 2,000 employee owners in 70 offices, Salas O’Brien provides a full range of engineering technical consulting services for public and private sector clients.


Brightcore Energy LLC

Michael Tracy


Salas O’Brien LLC

Jeff Urlaub


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