Engagement & News

Community engagement is an essential component of any large-scale project. For this reason, Cornell faculty, staff and administrators regularly meet with on- and off-campus groups to provide updates on the university’s carbon neutrality plans and activities.
 
Earth Source Heat (ESH) has been part of Cornell’s Climate Action Plan since 2009. During a detailed review of Cornell’s energy portfolio and options that fit within the academic mission, ESH was identified by a working group of faculty and staff as the best option to reach carbon neutrality on the Ithaca campus by 2035. Since that time, the working group has conducted extensive outreach to on- and off-campus partners, including several community forums in downtown Ithaca. That outreach continues today and will be a standing part of the project for its duration.
 
While many in Ithaca and the surrounding communities are supportive of clean energy development, as evident in the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap, Cornell understands that this type of project has not been attempted in the region before, leading to many questions about its feasibility and scope. As an academic institution with deep faculty expertise in emerging energy technology, seismicity, geology and the environment, Cornell is uniquely suited to explore Earth Source Heat. Even if ESH is not able to be fully implemented, valuable knowledge will still be gained about rock formations beneath campus as well as possible system designs that could be beneficial to other institutions, businesses and communities considering this technology.

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