ACRP Research Report 228: Airport Microgrid Implementation Toolkit addresses site-specific criteria for airports of all types and sizes. The Implementation toolkit contains an on-line tool https://acrpmicrogridtoolkit.xendee.com/to obtain an analysis and determine feasibility of a microgrid for your airport.
The toolkit has a suite of reference materials that include: utility and regulatory considerations, evaluation for selecting among regional transmission operators, current and future market characteristics and regulatory environments, potential for community microgrid and macrogrid interface and includes federal agency regulations and requirements (i.e., FAA, EPA), physical site and operational considerations, as well as commercial, business, and other considerations. A pilot implementation was conducted at Hanscom Field with Massport.
Awareness of the vulnerability of the country’s existing electrical system has increased with the frequency of short-term blackouts and/or long-term utility outages. Power outages impact airport operations causing flight delays, extended layovers, disruptions in cargo operations, loss of revenue, and limit airports’ ability to provide emergency support.
One solution to mitigate risks and address negative effects of power outages is for airports to increase their self-sufficiency for power generation and management. A microgrid can enable an airport to act independently and maintain enhanced control and protection from grid instability. The Department of Energy defines a microgrid as “a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that act as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid.” University campuses, military bases, entire townships, and even small island nations have deployed such projects successfully. Microgrids offer the potential to promote clean distributed energy resources; reduce utility costs; build grid reliability; enhance the resilience of critical facilities; increase energy security; demonstrate new technologies; and create new partnerships and business models among diverse stakeholders. Both airports’ critical role and their complexity require specific guidance to evaluate microgrid implementation options for a range of aviation facilities.
In addition to the actual Airport Microgrid Toolkit, there is a User Guide, which includes a Airport Microgrid Summit Summary, various case studies, and a summary of existing Microgrid assessment tools. Research for the guidebook under ACRP Project 10-26 was led by Rocky Mountain Institute in association with XENDEE, Inc., Converge Strategies, LLC Barrett Energy Resources Group and James Crites.