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Central Energy Plant at Night

About Energy and Sustainability

We have the obligation to reduce our environmental footprint while providing reliable, cost-effective energy and water to campus. We have the opportunity to catalyze sustainable campus activities across many areas, enhance Cornell's reputation, and participate in exciting, mission-critical teaching and research activities.

What You Can Do

What Cornell is Doing


Three sections comprise Energy & Sustainability

Energy Management

Conserving energy, load forecasting, trending, optimizing supply, reducing demand, metering...

Sustainability Office

Coordinating, facilitating, communicating, measuring, catalyzing...


Infrastructure: producing and distributing heat, cooling, electricity, water...

Project and Operational Highlights

Project Highlights


Seizing energy from the rooftops!

Thanks to nearly 300 solar panels installed on both buildings in mid-December, the sun's rays hitting the roof on Cornell's Human Ecology Building and Klarman Hall now produce energy.


Campus water: New cooling loops save millions of gallons

Cornell utilities engineer Garret Quist has designed two new projects at Cornell's Central Energy Plant aims to significantly cut campus water use by millions of gallons a year.


Olin Chemistry Research Wing ECI Project Saves $246,000 and 440 Tons CO2 Annually

The ECI team replaced all space controls which were at end of life and not performing correctly with new controls and re-commissioned to new occupancy based airflows. They also replaced 88 variable air volume boxes in areas where old boxes no longer worked; all reheat control valves to electric valves and installed airflow stations on main exhaust system along with new controls to monitor exhaust airflow. Control logic was added to sum up ventilation air on supply boxes.

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Operational Highlights


2015 Energy Fast Facts are now available!

The Energy Fast Facts provide a great 1-page snapshot of the present energy production, consumption, emissions associated with the central energy plants (this term includes heating, electricity, and chilled water).


Cornell Snyder Road Solar Farm to produce approx. 2.5 million kilowatt-hours annually

Cornells first megawatt scale renewable electric energy generation project since 1904, the Cornell Snyder Road Solar Farm is a 2MWdc array on Cornell property in the Town of Lansing. It was completed in September 2014 and is expected to reduce the universitys annual GHG emissions by 650 metric tons per year.

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Cornell water quality update

In response to recent questions from customers arising from the publicity of lead contamination issues in the potable water across the nation, and the more recent reports of the lead in drinking water at local Ithaca schools, Chris Bordlemay, Cornell Water/Wastewater Manager, has written an open letter and responses to frequently asked questions as it relates to the Cornell University Water System.


Recyclemania 2016... are you in?

Each spring, Cornell participates in Recyclemania and aims to generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling. With each week¿s updated ranking, Cornell's performance is tracked against other colleges to rally the campus to reduce and recycle more. The entire campus community's efforts help Cornell move closer to victory

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Ewes' chews keep solar farm in tip-top shape

A flock of about 40 sheep (composed of ewes and gelded males) from Scotts farm were delivered to the solar facility July 17  to cut the grass.


2015 Joint Annual Water Quality Report

Every year, a water quality report is prepared based upon the past year's activities. We take great pride in the work that we do and we invite you to read these very informative reports. Cornell collaborates with the other two water purveyors in the Ithaca area to produce this report (City of Ithaca and the Bolton Point Water System).

Senior group is guiding Cornell's climate actions

President Elizabeth Garrett announced the formation of the Senior Leaders Climate Action Group (SLCAG), to focus on improving current climate trends by advancing public understanding of climate change and spurring innovative, cross-disciplinary solutions on campus and globally.

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Many of our Highlights, Events, and News items can be followed on the Sustainability at Cornell Facebook page