New gas delivery line planned for Cornell's combined heat and power project

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Simeon Moss

Cornell has announced plans for a new gas delivery line that will help Cornell reduce its overall "greenhouse" gas emissions by more than 20 percent as well as cut down on its use of coal, while delivering the necessary heat and electric capacity for the university's future activities.

The new gas line also will allow Cornell to implement its highly efficient, combined heat and power project, which was announced in January 2006. With the new plant operations employing state-of-the-art gas-turbine technology, combined with other efficiency and conservation efforts already in place on campus, Cornell will be able to meet its goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions consistent with Kyoto protocols -- environmental goals agreed upon by more than 160 nations since the 1997 Kyoto Climate Change Conference in Japan. The new operations are expected to start in fall 2009.

In order to provide enough fuel for the planned project, an underground gas delivery line will be installed to connect the university's central heating plant with the interstate gas pipeline in the Ellis Hollow area. New York State Electric and Gas Co. is unable to provide adequate pressure and flow for the project through its existing natural gas distribution system. The new delivery line, 8 inches in diameter and just over 3 miles long, will run east from the central heating plant on the southern edge of Cornell's main campus. It will connect with the interstate pipeline on Cornell property, west of Genung Road, near the intersection with Ellis Hollow Road.

"The chosen route follows an existing utility corridor for approximately two-thirds of the route," says Edward Wilson, manager of Cornell's central heating plant. "This route will minimize disturbance to vegetation and will run almost entirely on Cornell property."

The gas delivery line will have to be approved and will be regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission. Neighborhood outreach and public meetings will be part of the process. Construction is planned for summer 2008, pending regulatory approvals.

For more information on Cornell's combined heat and power project, including a map of the planned gas delivery line route, see:

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