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Meet Our Finalists
Meet Our Finalists

Meet Our Finalists

The Empire Technology Prize is focused on finding groundbreaking solutions to tackle the greatest single source of GHG emissions from New York’s tall buildings — heating.

Seven Finalists have been selected with solutions that aim to be significantly easier to adopt by avoiding expensive and disruptive installation: either a new class of heat pumps that work with existing steam or high temperature hot water infrastructure; or distribution systems that make it easier to adopt existing centralized low temperature heat pumps.

Steam + High Temp Hot Water Heat Pumps

Enerin AS

Hailing from Asker, Norway, Enerin has over 100 years of experience with heat pump solutions. Enerin’s proposed heat pump uses a reverse Stirling Cycle and can produce both steam and high temperature hot water. It uses the natural refrigerant Helium, and air or water heat sources. The technology has existing customers and pilot projects in the industrial sector, as well as a prototype for space heating.

Johnson Controls

Based in Glendale, Wisconsin, JCI’s solution utilizes a cascaded cycle, centrifugal compressor, and mechanical vapor recompression technology as an energy recovery process. The solution, developed in collaboration between their North American and European teams, uses water as the heat source, can recycle waste heat to improve efficiency, and can offer cooling as an ancillary benefit.

Miller Proctor Nickolas

Bringing over 100 years of experience in the space heating industry, MPN will be using Finnish manufacturer Oilon’s ChillHeat technology to create a solution that generates both high temperature hot water and steam. MPN will build and test their prototype in their HQ in Holbrook, New York, packaging it as a mobile unit to allow for on-site demonstrations. It uses water as the heat source.

Steam Heat Pumps


AtmosZero’s heat pump utilizes a cascade cycle to produce low-to-medium pressure steam, using air or water as a heat source, and low Global Warming Potential refrigerants. The technology has been demonstrated for process steam applications at a brewery in Colorado, and the company has a prototype of their proposed solution in their headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Clean Heat Technologies

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CHT is a division of Thar Energy, which has over 30 years of experience developing components and systems using CO2. Clean Heat Technologies presents a steam heat pump utilizing this natural refrigerant (CO2), and uses water as its heat source. The team has developed six prototypes to date. The solution can be customized to provide hot water, and chilled water for cooling.

High Temp Hot Water Heat Pumps

Ambient Enterprises

This nationwide HVAC design collective, in collaboration with Flow Environmental Systems (Minnesota), and Gil-Bar Industries (New York), has proposed a high-temp hot water solution using a natural refrigerant (CO2), and air or water heat sources. In addition, their small footprint technology offers domestic hot water, and simultaneous heating & cooling capabilities for flexible performance.

Distribution Solutions

Hydronic Shell Technologies

In collaboration with Cycle RetroTech, Hydronic Shell’s solution incorporates a complete HVAC distribution system into a modular overclad façade that can be installed quickly, cost-effectively, and non-invasively on the exterior of an existing building, enabling easier adoption of in-market low temperature heat pump solutions. Based in Long Island City, NY, the team is working on a pilot of the solution in Syracuse, NY.
Prize Background

The Empire Technology Prize was created to help develop and demonstrate clean heating solutions that can easily integrate into New York’s prevalent but unusual steam distribution (1B sqft) and high temperature hot water distribution (0.4M sqft) systems in tall buildings.

What’s Next

Finalists have until July 2025 to progress their solutions, developing at least a tested prototype for a high temp heat pump, or distribution system, that can be more easily installed than current solutions for existing New York State residential or commercial buildings 7 stories and higher. The solutions will be scored on their projected GHG reduction by 2040, ease of implementation in the NY market, and path to cost competitiveness.

Pilot and Demonstration Partners

Finalists will have the opportunity to work with leading NY real estate owners to discuss pilot and demonstration sites in New York City and/or New York State. Our world class Demonstration Partners include: CBRE IM, Columbia University, Fairstead, Empire State Realty Trust, L+M Development Partners, New York City Housing Authority, Tishman Speyer, and Vornado Realty Trust
Learn more about our Demonstration Partners.

The Prize Pool: $10M

Finalist Award Pool: $7M Total, Up to $1M Each

On acceptance into the prize: Each Finalist receives $250,000.

During the 1 year prize program: Each Finalist will be eligible to receive up to an additional $750,000 as a milestone award.

Demonstration Funding Pool: $2M

$2M is available to help offset the costs incurred by finalists and real estate partners in installing demonstrations in the New York market. Priority will be given to solutions piloted in disadvantaged communities.

Winner Award: $1M Prize

At the end of the 1-year prize program, the Winner will be awarded an additional $1M.