Albany, NY. (April 9, 2024) — The 2024 Albany NY-GEO Conference began on Monday, April 8th, with the solar eclipse where, in New York, a 97% totality could be seen from right outside the Marriot building. Attendees gathered outside wearing their solar glasses courtesy of the NY-GEO team to see the solar spectacle for themselves. Once peak totality was reached, the Happy Hour Mix and Mingle with Exhibitors began. Excitement and networking could be seen throughout the exhibitor halls and lasted the rest of Monday night.


Day 2 Mingle and Welcome Session

Day two began at 7:30 AM with registration, a continental breakfast spread, and a mingling with exhibitors sponsored by Enertech. Once the breakfast hour was through, the opening session finally began. John Ciovacco, Aztech Geothermal & NY-GEO Conference Co-Chair, began the Welcome session by sharing a bit about the conference, what to expect, and the future of NY-GEO. 

Next, Christine Hoffer, Executive Director at NY-GEO, began her welcome statement by sharing, “Conferences like this don’t happen by chance. They happen because of the planning and careful preparation of the committee and our amazing sponsors.” Hoffer then asked all the sponsors to stand for a round of applause from the attendees and a second round of applause for the exhibitors, which, of course, included The Driller team.

Attendees also heard a welcoming statement from NYS Senator Pete Harckham, a strong advocate for geothermal energy in the New York area and Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Conservation. Harckham reminisced on the organization's and industry's growth throughout the years and shared how the geothermal industry will play a significant role in the economy's future: “This is about good-paying, clean energy jobs.” Harckham also promised to the attendees, “The legislature is committed to the growth of your industry.” The senator then closed his opening statement by encouraging geothermal leaders to reach out to their representatives actively and shared his high hopes for the larger NY-GEO conference planned for later this year in New York City.

Next, Jens Ponikau, Buffalo Geothermal and NY-GEO President, shared some slides on New York state's energy standards and geothermal cooling and heating statistics. According to Ponikau, the average NYS apartment uses 599 kWh per month without electrification. Meanwhile, geo load application significantly reduces the kW usage from roughly 1,000 kW to 263 kW. “Hopefully, these statistics will show you that we are part of the solution, not the problem. With that said, welcome to NY-GEO.” 

At this point,  Donovan Gordon, Director of Community Thermal Networks at NYSERDA, shared NYS’ commitment to developing the geothermal industry, highlighting Governor Hocul’’s commitment to fighting climate change, laws benefitting the geothermal sector, geothermal incentives like the NYS Clean Heat Incentive Program, geothermal market development, geothermal supply chain management, and the future of geothermal industry development in New York and beyond. 

Lastly, the keynote speaker, Rory Christian, Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission, began his opening statement by breaking down his commission's role in regulation and explaining their goal to decarbonize the economy and reduce emissions by 80%. As the Chairman stated, “Revolution happens quickly, and this one [geothermal] is happening before our eyes.” Christian also boasted, “Our goal is to commit to 70% of our energy coming from renewable energy by 2030.” 

Christian also shared how emissions have significantly reduced since the commission’s actions have shifted to renewable energy growth and support. The Chairman then detailed some successful endeavors and programs that have helped mitigate non-renewable energy expenditure in New York and the power of utility regulation. The Welcome statement closed with Christian stating proudly, “You are all a part of changing the world in a way that I don’t think any of us will fully appreciate now, but all of our children certainly will.”

IGSHPA Training Techs.jpeg

Let the Sessions Begin!

Although there were three tracks during this conference, with individual sessions for every time slot, we at The Driller focused on the most viable sessions for you, the reader, to learn more about. Having said that, below are recaps for each of the five time slots and, more specifically, the most valuable sessions each slot offered for geothermal drilling, ground source heat pumps, and workforce development topics. 

New IGSHPA Installation & Service Technician Certifications

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) has developed two new technician certifications, making the key skills installers and service professionals need to know more accessible.  To further encourage access, four of the major heat pump manufacturers, Bosch, ClimateMaster, Enertech, and WaterFurnace, have all agreed to incorporate these certification programs into their factory equipment training courses. The course delivery is just underway in 2024, and this session will bring you up to date on expanding these efforts.


  • Jeff Hammond / IGSHPA
  • John Thomas / WaterFurnace International
  • Ed Davis / Enertech Global
  • Mike Hammond / ClimateMaster

Read the full recap here

Getting Serious About Workforce Development

In areas like New York and Massachusetts with strong state incentives coupled with the federal IRA and other programs – the demand for GSHP installations is starting to take off. What needs to be done to ensure the workforce is ready to meet the moment? This panel will discuss steps and what other elements must be added to prevent the workforce from becoming a barrier to the most efficient means of building electrification. Emphasis will be given to the critical role of organized labor organizations, as the most significant projects will require a prevailing wage with an apprenticeship program.


  • Rachel Carpitella / Sustainable Westchester


  • Jack DiEnna / IGSHPA
  • John Murphy / UA
  • Wayne Mackey / Laborers' Local 17
  • Dave Bowers / IUOE, Local 150
  • Adele Ferranti / NYSERDA

Read the full recap here

A Mid-Lunch Call to Action

During the luncheon courteously provided by NY-GEO, Bill Nowak, an industry expert and NY-GEO Board Member, urged attendees and beyond to jump into action for a few very important causes. Even now, our community still has time to make a difference by doing any of the following efforts:

There are two key bills that NY-GEO has been advocating for inclusion in the state budget.

  1. Increase the cap on the NY Geothermal tax credit from $5k to $10k and make the credit refundable
  2.  The NY-HEAT Act which saves ratepayers money by cutting subsidies for gas infrastructure

One-pager on the tax credit bill

One-pager on NY HEAT Act

Savings from NY HEAT

PLEASE consider the following steps at this crucial point in NY’s budget negotiations, which may wrap up this week. 

1.      Send quick easy emails to Governor Hochul and Legislators by clicking here on the tax credit and here on NY HEAT. 

You may need a NY State address for the tax credit message. If you’re out of state but have a business relationship in NY, please use that address.

2.     Make a quick call to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie at 518-455-3791 with this message

Hello, I’m (firstname).  I’m calling to urge Speaker Heastie (pronounced Hasty) to include the full NY HEAT Act and the geothermal tax credit cap increase in NY’s budget this year

They will be polite and listen – at most, they may ask for your zipcode.

3.     It would be great if you could write a short memo on these bills to email into the legislature. We’re happy to provide you with a draft – let us know at

Feel free to call Bill at 716-316-7674 with any questions. 

Review of Major Geothermal Drilling Techniques

This session will be packed with knowledgeable drillers describing their best drilling methods. We’ll hear about mud rotary, air rotary, sonic, auger, angled rotary, dual rotary, and more! It's sure to be an instant classic for our industry!


  • Brock Yordy / The Developed Well Group


  • Robert Meyer / Thermex Geothermal - Mud to Sonic
  • Dmitry Kuravskiy / Celsius Energy - Angled Drilling & Air Rotary
  • Derek McGladdery / Derex Drills - Dual Rotary
  • Kim Ojanne / Rototec USA - Downhole Hammer & Job Site Productivity

Recap and video coming shortly. 

Geothermal Drilling Regulations: Perspectives on Potential Changes

NY-GEO, with other industry and environmental stakeholder groups, was able to get new legislation passed that eliminated sections of the regulations for drilling geothermal boreholes deeper than 500 feet. As you might imagine, regulations are complicated. Simply removing aspects of the law that regulated boreholes beyond 500 feet now requires a new set of regulations to prevent adverse environmental impacts and promote worker safety while making permitting deeper geothermal boreholes less burdensome than in the past. NY-GEO is working with the DEC to help create new regulations by the end of 2024. This panel includes key members of the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) who oversee this area with other industry stakeholders. This session is a window into an ongoing, and critical process.


  • Kevin Moravec / Barney Moravec, Inc.


  • Carrie Friello / NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation - Division of Minerals Management
  • Beth Guidetti / NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water
  • David Rosick / Rosick Well Drilling 
  • Gino Di Rezze / GroundHeat
  • David Hermantin / Brightcore Energy

Read the full recap here

As the NY-GEO 2024 conference in Albany concluded, it was clear that the discussions had laid a solid foundation for the future of geothermal drilling in New York State and far beyond. 

The collaborative spirit of the session, coupled with a commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship, promises to drive the industry forward in the years to come. 

To our readers, we encourage you to connect, engage, and develop content with The Driller. As Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” So, why not work with those covering the latest and greatest in geothermal and beyond to share the messages and stories the people deserve to see? Special thanks to the NY-GEO team for a fantastic event. Be sure to sign up for the next NY-GEO conference in New York City this year, which will be held from October 21 to 23! We’ll see you there!