Aerial view of Pittsburgh International Airport
Source: Pittsburgh International Airport
Should airports go off the web? Pittsburgh International Airport – and others – think so.
Remember 11 December power outages at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in December 2017 that canceled hundreds of flights, stranded thousands of passengers and cost Delta Airlines alone an estimated $ 50 million in lost business?
Since then, power outages related to everything from equipment failure, faulty wiring, and an electric power plant explosion disrupted operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, New York's LaGuardia Airport, John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. , Philadelphia International Airport and McCarran Las Vegas International Airport.
And just last Saturday, the flow at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport went out ̵
Microgrids to the rescue
During power outages at airports, generators, and other forms of back-up power that are usually kicked in to power necessary emergency lighting, but boarding, planning, airport activity and airport operations often come to a standstill.
Pittsburgh International Airport: rendering of the microgrid solar heat.
Source: Pittsburgh International Airport
There is only one reason why Pittsburgh International Airport recently declared its intention to become the first US airport to create a self-sufficient energy system, or microgrid, using only energy sources – solar and natural gas. – from their own property.
"After seeing what happened in Atlanta and Los Angeles, I think every CEO across the country, and probably around the world, was wondering if hey was not ready and prepared," said Christina Cassotis, CEO of Allegheny Airport Authority, which operates Pittsburgh Airport. "Here's the answer, yes, but we want to make sure we can continue operating under any circumstances."
To that end, Pittsburgh International Airport plans to have its microgrid in place by 2021 to operate the entire airport, including the airport, the on-site Hyatt Hotel and a Sunoco station.
Veolia operator on TWA microgrid plant in hotel
Source: Christophe Majani-D & # 39; Inguimbert | Veolia North America
Power to PIT's microgrid will be generated through the airport's natural gas wells on site and nearly 8,000 solar panels covering eight acres of the airport. A connection to the traditional electrical grid will remain, but only as an alternative for emergency or backup when needed.
"It has everything to do with resilience and redundancy," Cassotis said. "We wanted to make sure we could do everything with the assets we have to improve the safety of the fellow traveler and ensure continued operation. As a bonus, we get lower energy costs."
PIT airport officials project a $ 500,000 energy savings in the first year of the project. In addition to lowering energy costs, the airport will also receive annual leases from Peoples Natural Gas through the project.
Many military facilities, colleges, hospital complexes, industrial parks, and other large institutions already have some kind of microgrid in place to ensure uninterrupted power. Generally, these systems are connected to existing grids, but can disconnect and operate on their own with electricity from batteries, diesel-powered generators or, ideally, solar or another source of renewable power, says Craig Schiller, a manager specializing in aviation at global energy nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute.
While Detroit Metro Airport already has a microgrid in place, airports in Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego, Boston, Orange County, California and elsewhere are now exploring and making microgrids. [19659002TimestarewallpublishesRemyAirportToolkitFormatProgramFunded$450000grantfromNationalAcademiesofSciencesEngineeringandMedicine'sTransportationResearchBoardfortheirplaceabilityfortheirspeciesandtheirspeciesandtheirprocessesandthemicrogroupprocess
"But the bottom line maximizes an airport's ability to fulfill its function."
Airports not only provide the economic vitality of a community, but in an emergency, an airport with its own power grid can become an important community asset.  "99% of the time customers will not notice whether or not an airport is using their microgrid resources," Schiller said. "But if it's a local, regional or natural disaster, the airport could give people a place to travel or a way to get out of the city."
Airport Hotel with a Micro Grid
Most microgrids are designed to connect to existing power grids. But the 512-room TWA hotel and conference center opened in May 2019 in the landmark Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport & # 39; s Terminal 5 is an "eye microgrid" operating independently of New York's electric networks.  TWA hotel bar
Christophe Majani-D & # 39; Inguimbert | Veolia North America