Pittsburgh International Airport - Smart Energy Decisions

Microgrids, Commercial, Solar  -  July 24, 2020

Pittsburgh International Airport starts construction on microgrid

Pittsburgh International Airport broke ground this week on a first-of-its-kind microgrid that will provide all of the airport’s power by summer 2021.

The system will include 7,800 solar panels installed on eight acres near the airport and five natural gas-fired generators built on the airport’s property. The airport’s current energy demand is around 14 MW and the natural gas generators and solar panels will produce 20 MW and 3 MW of electricity, respectively.

“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.”

While the microgrid will become the airport’s primary power source, it will remain connected to the traditional electrical grid for backup or emergency power. The system will be built, operated and maintained by Peoples Natural Gas and will power both the Landside and Airside terminals, the hangars and maintenance facilities, the airfield, the Hyatt hotel and a Sunoco gas station.

The project developers anticipate the solar facility to begin construction in the fall and for both facilities to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.

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