The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is continuing its commitment to environmental sustainability by powering up a new natural gas cogeneration facility that will significantly lower carbon emissions and reduce costs.
This new facility began construction in 2019 and became operational in the spring of 2021. It provides electricity and heat for airport operations from the same source. The heat from electrical power generation is now captured and used to heat water, which heats the EIA terminal. The new cogeneration power plant will reduce Edmonton Airport’s annual carbon emissions by approximately 20 per cent or 7,000-8,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, roughly the same as taking 2,400 vehicles off the road. Once fully operational, the facility will also reduce EIA’s energy costs by roughly $800,000 per year.
The project, brought forward by EIA employees, is another tangible example of EIA’s commitment to environmental, social and governance concerns. The implementation of an energy and heat production facility onsite is a direct response to the desire for real, lasting and sustainable change in the aviation sector.
“We’re pleased to announce the installation of our cogeneration plant as it will offer critical reductions in CO2e for our EIA airport sustainability campus,” said Tom Ruth, president and CEO of the EIA. ”We couldn’t have done it without our partners, the Government of Alberta and ATCO, and we’re thankful for their support. Our company is committed to being carbon-neutral by 2040 under our commitment to The Climate Pledge and this new cogeneration facility goes a long way to helping us get closer to that goal by reducing our current emissions by 20 per cent.”
Located adjacent to the central utilities plant, the total estimated cost of the project was $11 million. ATCO was the Prime Contractor in the cogeneration project.
“Alberta’s government continues to invest in bold and ambitious long-term projects, like this unique partnership between ATCO and the Edmonton International Airport, as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan to invest in technology and innovation to protect the environment and get Albertans back to work when it matters most,” said Jason Nixon, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks. “This project has great potential to reduce emissions and create jobs and I look forward to seeing it thrive.”
The Alberta government contributed $1.85 million towards the construction of this natural gas-powered facility. EIA is a ready to be a key part of Alberta’s economic recovery plan with projects such as this that create jobs and bring lasting community improvements.
Other examples of how Edmonton airports are working towards carbon-neutral growth include:
- Airport City Solar– the world’s largest solar farm at an airport
- The Climate Pledge– first airport in the world to join this initiative
- Measuring and reporting on energy and carbon targets
- LEED Certification of central tower and terminal expansion
- Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program participating with 288 airports worldwide