Airport Microgrid Implementation Toolkit

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) led a multi-firm project team to develop a microgrid implementation toolkit for airports. ACRP funded a project to better equip airports to increase their resilience and avoid the disruptive impacts associated with electrical power loss. Airport vulnerability due to power outages, which are potentially increasing in frequency and duration, cause significant industry costs and impacts to passenger confidence in air travel. RMI has developed a web-based resource to inform airport stakeholders about the capabilities of microgrids and guidance regarding whether an installation might benefit a specific location. Toolkit development was enhanced with two in-person workshops conducted at Ithaca-Tompkins and Massport’s Hanscom airports.

Airport users can upload their specific data and obtain microgrid information and recommendations from The Airport Microgrid Implementation Toolkit’s eight modules:

Module 0, Microgrid Basics & Background: contains general education and guidance on airport microgrids to offer a base-level of understanding before launching into the tool.

Module 1, Airport Profile: includes airport energy supply and usage data as well as how airport location and corresponding utility characteristics that may influence microgrid project development.

Module 2, Resilience: helps identify 'critical' loads that must be kept running in the event of an outage, provides guidance to improve user understanding of energy vulnerability and preparedness for utility outages, and includes microgrid security considerations.

Module 3, Stakeholder Engagement: covers a range of stakeholders involved in microgrid development and provides educational materials and recommendations to conduct effective stakeholder management.

Module 4, Energy Options: provides the benefits and tradeoffs of different energy technologies that could be used in a microgrid such as cost, emissions, resilience, siting considerations, etc.

Module 5, Finance & Ownership: helps identify airport power outage costs, explains a range of funding options, benefits, tradeoffs regarding energy project financing, and assesses the various microgrid ownership models and procurement methods.

Module 6, Operations & Maintenance: discusses microgrid operations and maintenance (O&M) contracting strategies and identifies considerations for integrating microgrid or energy system operations with airport systems.

Module 7, Master Module: provides an overview of the microgrid design process and summarizes the results and outputs generated by working through the toolkit modules.