Published in MicroGrid Knowledge: Pittsburgh wants an airport microgrid. And developers — a lot of them — want to build it.
The Allegheny County Airport Authority has received 64 responses to its request for expressions of interest seeking a developer to design, build, own and operate a microgrid at the Pittsburgh International Airport. The authority is considering making use of a microgrid to serve not only the airport, but also the growing roster of businesses that have established operations there. The authority also hopes to support Pittsburgh’s economy and western Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry, in particular, explained Bob Kerlik, vice president of media relations.
Air transport, along with water, power, information-communications and waste disposal, is considered an essential public service, and a critical one in times of emergency. That was made all too clear recently when grid power was lost for 11 hours at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport due to a fire.
Developing an airport microgrid makes good sense in several respects, Kerlik told Microgrid Knowledge. Lowering energy costs and enhancing the resiliency of energy service looms large in the airport authority’s project development planning.
The loss of grid power for 11 hours at Atlanta’s airport in December was on the mind of CEO Christina Cassotis when she announced that the authority was evaluating the feasibility of making use of a third-party-owned microgrid located on airport property.