Airports Have Unique Energy Needs
Airport lights are always “on,” no matter the time of day or the time of year. In blizzards, heat waves, and pouring rain, their energy needs must be met. With no downtime, an airport can consume as much energy as a medium-sized city. Using that energy efficiently is paramount.
Airports also have a critical need for highly reliable power. An estimated 30-40% of all commercial downtime is power quality related, and since they can’t afford to have blackouts, or even brownouts, they must protect themselves from the effects of voltage surges and sags, harmonics and transients, and other power quality problems. They must be made aware of these problems when they occur, so that they can respond before the problem escalates. And they need to be able to find out why the problem occurred, in order to avoid a repetition.
In addition, many airports must meet energy conservation guidelines. Even if not legally obligated to do so, airports are high-profile energy consumers that need to reduce their carbon footprint. And energy efficient buildings can consume up to 85% less power than inefficient buildings.
Airports Have Multiple Energy Consumers
An airport houses many tenants, in addition to the offices, parking lots, restroom facilities, jetways, runways, and other areas run by the airport itself. Restaurants, car rental agencies, stores, airlines, and other tenants must reimburse the airport for their energy use. Since not all energy consumers are equal: a runway, which cannot take a chance on going dark, may pay a higher rate for its energy than a store or restaurant, the traditional method of billing tenants for their square footage doesn’t lead to fair results or happy tenants! The airport needs a way to bill its tenants for their actual energy use.