Cornell University is known for blistering cold winters in upstate New York, but its recent research has found much of the ground in New York and Pennsylvania are especially conducive to geothermal heat.

The University is hoping to test the possibility of geothermal heating with its project called Earth Source Heat. If it goes well, the school will expand the heating method to its full campus and hope to reduce carbon emissions by 40% when it's complete.

The first phase of the project will span the next five years and will involve small-scale testing to heat a few campus buildings. The testing involves drilling a pair of wells that will reach down to a heat reservoir more than two miles below the surface.

A success at Cornell could help to make geothermal energy more mainstream in the northeastern U.S. This region tends to have very cold winters, and relying more on geothermal energy for heating would dramatically cut carbon emissions.

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