Edmonton International Airport Cogeneration Plant
Part of Edmonton International Airport’s (EIA) vision for energy management included a cogeneration solution that would enable them to create power on site using the most efficient technology from fuels with low emission properties. ATCO played a key role in bringing this vision to life, designing and constructing a three 1.4 MW natural gas cogeneration facility along with a 25 kV natural gas insulated switchgear (GIS). ATCO helped secure $1.8 million of funding for the EIA from Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Custom Energy Solutions program, for which ATCO is a program ally.
The three combined heat and power (CHP) units provide on-site electric power generation and heating for the main terminal complex of the EIA. Natural gas fired cogeneration allows the airport to produce its own electricity on-site, which avoids energy losses associated with traditional grid electricity services and decreasing carbon emissions. Due to the high efficiency of natural gas, less fuel is burned to produce a unit of energy, further reducing emissions and operating costs. The thermal heat produced by cogeneration is collected and used in the facility, reducing fuel consumption by airport’s boilers to produce heat.
In terms of environmental benefits, the power plant will:
- Reduce Edmonton Airport’s annual carbon emissions by approximately 20% or 7,000-8,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year, roughly the same as taking 2,400 vehicles off the road.
- Reduce EIA’s energy costs by roughly $800,000 per year at full operations.
This project is a driver of the airport’s master sustainability plan that highlights environmental stewardship as one of their core values. The airport selection criteria for this project included a rigorous process for a vendor whose sustainability objectives aligned with those of EIA.
ATCO’s role in this project was to deliver a turn-key integrated cogeneration solution that is safer, more reliable, decreases outage risk and lowers overall carbon footprint. ATCO provided EPC and project management services for the design of the integrated system, procurement of three 1.4MW natural gas cogenerators, construction, and commissioning and verification. The team skilfully worked through a brownfield site with existing infrastructure that posed unique challenges, ones that required formidable expertise and patience. Pre-existing above and below ground infrastructure (gas transfer station, overhead power lines, communications tower) forced the team to think outside the box to be able to thread the preverbal needle (in this case, three massive cogen units) to successfully bring the project together. Ultimately, ATCO faced these complexities head on and delivered a cleaner, more reliable energy solution for the EIA.
Date: 2019 –2021
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Client: Edmonton International Airport
Category: EPC, Planning & Advice, DER