Getting Charged About Energy

It’s about costs, efficiency, sustainability — and long-term infrastructure planning.

Getting renewable energy isn‘t so easy for many airports. “When you get to the scale that most airports are, it’s pretty tough for them to have their own wind generator or hydroelectric plant,” Clark says. “But they may have the option of buying renewable energy.”

That kind of renewable energy costs more than standard electricity. But, Clark says, “It shows a commitment to sustainability and the environment.”
The PR aspect isn’t lost on Dib. “You have to remember that we are accused of harming the environment — airport operations in general,” he says.

And while cogeneration may not be understood by the general public, renewable energy like solar or wind power has a better chance. “People can relate to that, things they can see and feel.”

No matter what power source is selected in the end, Clark says the energy supply planning approach is the same. “You need to do a detailed feasibility study, because every location is different,” Clark says.

“The feasibility study would look at concept design, how the system would be configured, what the loads are that it would serve, what the capital costs would be, and what the savings would be. Then do overall lifecycle costs and the overall cost/benefit analysis.”

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