Research Projects

Transitioning Airport Central Utility Plants to Electric In Reserve

For airports considering transitioning to electric equipment at Central Utility Plants to meet air quality regulations and sustainability goals, there is a need for a comprehensive evaluation of appropriate alternative technologies (including costs), retrofits needed, and strategies to minimize life cycle costs of new equipment. A model of potential energy, water, and greenhouse gas reductions is also needed to inform a benefit-cost analysis of such a transition.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

Gas-fired Central Utility Plants (CUP) typically create the majority of greenhouse gas emissions under an airport's control (Scope 1 and 2). They are also large consumers of campus energy and water. While a few North American airports have begun the process of planning for an all electric CUP, there is a need for a comprehensive strategy and roadmap for converting gas-fired equipment to electric. This Research Project could evaluate appropriate alternative technologies (including costs), retrofits needed, strategies to minimize life cycle costs of new equipment, and potential energy, water, and greenhouse gas reductions. The Research Project could also explore ways to reduce an airport's new electrical load impacts by analyzing load shifting and peak shaving opportunities.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

This Research Project would provide a benefit-cost analysis for airport decision-makers to utilize when considering transitioning equipment at Central Utility Plants to electric.

Annotations
Idea No. 693