Lake Source Cooling Plant Building
Lake Source Cooling Building on Cayuga Lake

Lake Source Cooling

The Lake Source Cooling (LSC) project is one of the most significant energy initiatives ever undertaken by an American university in order to promote sustainability. 

Beginning in July of 2000, after a 4-year application review process by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), LSC is an environmentally sustainable upgrade to the chilled water system on campus, conserving energy by utilizing the cold waters of Cayuga Lake. 

Lake Source Cooling Homepage

This method of cooling eliminates the need for refrigeration equipment, significantly reducing Cornell’s reliance on fossil fuels by using 86% less energy. Furthermore, not only is LSC much more cost effective, there is also greater reliability and benefits for the environment in the long run. In accordance with the DEC’s requirements, Cornell also included several features in the construction and operation of the LSC project to further minimize any potential impacts, and it carries out a lake-monitoring program in order to ensure safe operation on the lake. Participants in the project include Cornell, the City of Ithaca, and the Ithaca School District.