Introduced in October 2008 by SyracuseCoE Platinum Partner SUNY-ESF, the Central New York Naturally Chilled Water Project (CNYCWP) is in the process of conducting scientific and engineering investigations to determine the feasibility and suitability of bringing naturally chilled water from Lake Ontario to Onondaga and Oswego counties, using existing rights-of-way and new technology to effectively support a large-scale municipal cooling district and other opportunities. The $1.5 million funding for the study was secured through the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The lake water would provide a greenhouse gas-free cooling source that would reduce emissions and cut the amount of fossil fuels used to power mechanical chillers and coolers in regional private and public buildings. After being used, the oxygen-rich water would fl ow back through Onondaga Lake and then return to Lake Ontario, closing the loop on the system.
Not only does the project stand to provide natural cooling to buildings, but the water, when deposited in Onondaga Lake, can aid in the lake cleanup. The water entering Onondaga Lake would be approximately 52 degrees, which is cooler than Onondaga Lake in the summer. This cooler, oxygen-rich water will help reduce mercury and other toxins, add oxygen naturally and enhance aquatic fisheries.