Commercial, Demand Management, Microgrids, Solar  -  October 22, 2019

Pittsburgh airport to become first powered entirely by microgrid

Pittsburgh International Airport will become the first major U.S. airport to be completely powered by its own microgrid with energy generated by its own on-site natural gas wells and solar panels.

The airport currently has five natural gas-fueled generators and approximately 7,800 solar panels across eights acres, with a capacity of producing more than 20 MW, to contribute to the microgrid. The microgrid project will not only power both airport terminals, but also the airfield, the Hyatt hotel and a Sunoco gas station. The airport announced the project Friday, following several power outages at airports across the country.

“Part of our mission is to be a world leader in aviation innovation and this project is about powering airports into the future,” Pittsburgh International Airport CEO Christina Cassotis said in a statement. “This project will bring power resiliency and redundancy to enhance safety and ensure continued operations for the traveling public.”

According to a statement from the airport, it will continue to be connected to the traditional electrical grid as an option for emergency or backup power when needed.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority Board of Directors awarded Peoples Natural Gas a 20-year contract to build, maintain and operate the microgrid, expected to be online by summer 2021, at no cost to the airport.

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