The start-up costs associated with DLWC are impressive, and in many cases, prohibitive. The report commissioned in Seattle, for example, notes that the price tag is more than what developers would consider feasible at this time. In the case of Cornell University, Joyce observes that the school had one advantage over industrial interests: ¿Cornell has been around for almost 150 years, and expects to be around for at least 100 more,¿ he remarks. A company that lacks such security is less likely to want to absorb the large initial costs. Even with some long-term security in place, the decision to switch to DLWC was not an easy one, Joyce says. In the high-flying mid-1990s, selling people on a system that required between 10 to 13 years before costs could be recouped was difficult, but in the end the university decided that it was worth it to reduce its overall environmental impact. To date, Cornell has decreased the energy utilized for air conditioning (about 10 percent of the total campus electricity use) by 86 percent, thanks to the Lake Source Cooling Project.
When it was first proposed, the Cornell project did encounter some initial resistance from a group of Ithaca inhabitants who were concerned enough about the added heat's potential effects on the lake's ecosystem to file a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the project. (The case was dismissed.) In Seattle, concerns about the health of the salmon population were also raised during the study. But the envionmental benefits of DLWC often outweigh the worries. "Some roadblocks have been thrown up, but none have not been permitted" once officially proposed says Bob Klug, a senior systems analyst for Seattle City Light who wrote the grant applications for the city's feasibility study. "[DLWC] is as green as can be."
The old adage, ¿location, location, location¿ also plays a huge role in DLWC, with geography being the biggest limitation on which cities, towns and companies can even consider employing the system. In addition, the approach requires district cooling, a central system that pools the cooling requirements of a number of buildings, in order to work. But if the Toronto project is a success, it could make other lake-adjacent energy users sit up and take notice.