Largest Geothermal Development in America Coming to Kennewick - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Largest Geothermal Development in America Coming to Kennewick

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- A new Kennewick housing development is leading the nation in geothermal neighborhoods.

Developers building the SouthCliffe subdivision, in the far end of the Southridge area of Kennewick, are taking on a massive project to build over 400 geothermal homes.

They say the cost effective technology will pay off for buyers from the moment they first walk in the door.

The geothermal loop system is just the beginning of what developers are calling the largest geothermal neighborhood in America.

"Nobody's done it on a scale this size. But the technology's gotten to a point where it's very mainstream. It's very cost effective and so when we looked at the numbers over the course of the entire subdivision it was pretty clear that it was a win-win for everybody," said Grant Young, codeveloper.

Young says SouthCliffe homeowners will save between 50-70% on their energy bills.

And once the whole project is finished, it will save 10,000 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.

"The water coming through those tubes will exchange with the air in your house to both heat and cool the home. It'll also provides the hot water," Tyler Kafentzis, geothermal consultant.

Starting with a geothermal grid foundation creates an affordable green option for new home buyers.

"We can put these in before homes are on the lots. If a home is in, you have to tear up those lawns and you have to actually go in and work around utilities. If we do this on a large scale in developments put in, we can reduce the cost to where any homeowner can afford this," Kafentzis said.

Ten years in the making, this project is finally breaking ground and developers are confident people will buy the lots before the walls even go up.

"We're starting off with 18 lots. They'll start to be sold in October and we've got another up on the hill and we're just going to expand as the market dictates," Young said.

The geothermal grid adds 5% to the cost of the lot, but owners will get a 30% federal rebate for their green home.

Young says they plan to complete the 400 plus homes in just five years.

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