Microgrids and Airports
image credit: Flying just ain’t what it used to be. Long gone are the Mad Men era days when airports and planes were places you wanted to be. Budget cuts, advanced seating algorithms and the puritanical crusade against tobacco have sucked all the fun out of the air. S
- Nov 26, 2019 6:42 pm GMT
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Flying just ain’t what it used to be. Long gone are the Mad Men era days when airports and planes were places you wanted to be. Budget cuts, advanced seating algorithms and the puritanical crusade against tobacco have sucked all the fun out of the air.
So, the last thing anyone wants is to spend extra time in airports due to a canceled or delayed flight. Unfortunately, that’s a common occurrence, and often the underlying problem is a faulty grid. In recent years, blackouts have grounded planes 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 International Airport in Las Vegas. Just last weekend, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport lost power twice due to high winds, forcing them to delay the grand opening of a new $1 billion terminal.
It should come as no surprise that airports around the country are seeking to mitigate such problems by installing their own microgrids. The Pittsburgh International Airport, for example, has announced plans to have a microgrid ready by 2021. The microgrid, which will pull from a mix of solar and natural gas sources, will be capable of powering the entire airport, which includes the airfield, an onsite hotel and a Sunoco station.
Of course, Pittsburgh’s plans aren’t in any way novel. The Detroit Metro Airport already has one in place, and a host of others plan to install microgrids as well.
Airports aren’t the only ones grid proofing their facilities either. A couple weeks ago, I highlighted Fort Knox’s efforts to be capable of energy independence in cases of emergency. Hospitals, industrial parks, and some college campuses have made similar moves. Personally, I don’t think this trend will slow anytime soon.