I had the reverse (converse?) idea of this earlier - capturing the winter cold, in the form of pykrete, to cool buildings in the summer. This planned community is doing the opposite, capturing heat from the sun and storing it for winter.
Via Treehugger, Drake's Landing:
Huunh? Alberta, Canada???
How it Works
- 52-house subdivision to have space and water heating supplied by solar energy
- Solar energy captured year round by 800-panel garage mounted array
- Combination of seasonal and short-term thermal storage (STTS) facilitate collection and storage of solar energy in the summer for use in space heating in winter
- Borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) is an in-ground heat sink for seasonal energy storage
- Short-term thermal storage (STTS) tanks are central hub for heat movement between collectors, district loop (DL)/houses, and (BTES)
- DL moves heat from the STTS to the houses
Location: Okotoks, Alberta. 51.1 deg N, 114 deg W, 1084 m elevation
Weather: Winter -33 C; Summer 28.3 C DB/15.6 C WB
that's a tad north of Central New York even!
Pretty ambitious plan. Here is the link for how they plan to do it. Outside the box thinking to provide heating to residents - that is what CNY will need as the winters stay cold and the cost of gas and oil continues to climb.
(Yes I know that natural gas fell to $9 and change today, but I bet on the first cold snap she'll be right back up there to $12-14)