“The solar farm, and our purchases of the Green-e certified National Wind, are the reasons why IC ranks so high on the renewable energy report,” Lischke said. “They have accelerated our path to carbon neutrality, though we still have to solve our Scope 1 emissions.”
Scope 1 emissions come from stationary sources that IC controls, including natural gas boilers, refrigerant for cooling systems, and diesel fuel. These systems account for the largest share of the college’s emissions in this category.
Natural gas is used predominantly to heat the buildings and produce domestic hot water at Ithaca College. The good news: Renewable energy for heating and cooling is readily available and practical. The Peggy Ryan Williams Center was built with its own geothermal heating and cooling system.
“It has never produced any significant carbon emissions, which is good news for other geothermal projects currently under consideration,” Lischke pointed out.
“Scope 1 emissions from the natural gas boilers in most of our buildings is clearly our biggest challenge,” he added. “A number of our boilers will reach the end of their useful life during the next several years. Geothermal, electric, and heat pump solutions are viable options to help us fully transition away from natural gas.”