Energy and Equity Quality of Life/Place

Pittsburgh International Airport is Powered by A First-of-its-Kind Microgrid

Written by Staff Writer

Innovation is everywhere at the Pittsburgh Airport, and in 2021, they unveiled the first-of-its kind airport microgrid, bolstering resiliency for the terminal and utilizing cleaner energy to power the terminal and airport campus, including a hotel and gas station.

The 20 MW natural gas-fired energy plant also utilizes a 3 MW solar array, with more than 9,000 panels, located on eight acres of a repurposed landfill. And because the microgrid’s solar panels and five natural gas fired generators operate independently of the traditional grid, it gives the airport greater protection from outages and cyberattacks.

By utilizing cleaner energy rather than importing it from the grid, the microgrid provides a yearly carbon reduction of over 8 million pounds; this is the equivalent of eliminating 9 million miles driven by passenger cars. It has also provided revenue savings and inspired change across the region.

Sustainability at PIT extends beyond the microgrid. The airport is working on alternative fuel strategies, repopulating the honeybee population, and completing the Terminal Modernization Program, which includes a goal of LEED Silver Certification.

Bob Kerlik
Allegheny Co Airport Authority
(412) 472-3557

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Staff Writer