As part of Edmonton International Airport's (EIA) energy management vision, a cogeneration solution was implemented to generate power on-site using efficient technology and low-emission fuels. Clark Builders, working as a subcontractor under ATCO, was responsible for constructing a 1.4 Megawatt (MW) natural gas cogeneration facility consisting of three units, as well as a 25 kV natural gas insulated switchgear (GIS).
The primary objective of the project was to provide electric power generation and heating for the EIA's main terminal complex through combined heat and power (CHP) units. By utilizing natural gas-fired cogeneration, the airport is able to produce its own electricity on-site, thereby avoiding energy losses associated with traditional grid services and reducing carbon emissions. The use of natural gas, known for its high efficiency, results in lower fuel consumption per unit of energy, leading to reduced emissions and operational costs. Additionally, the thermal heat produced by the cogeneration system is captured and utilized, thereby reducing the need for fuel consumption by the airport's boilers to generate heat.
The Co-Generation Unit project at the EIA's Airport Maintenance building was executed in two phases. The first phase involved the construction of a new switchgear room and the installation of 45 linear meters of underground PVC electrical conduit. In the second phase, the foundation was laid for one E-Building and three Combined Heating and Power (CHP) generators. This phase also included the installation of approximately 85 helical screw piles, along with underground PVC electrical conduit, a heat exchanger, and electrical power feeds.
In terms of environmental benefits, the implementation of this power plant is expected to reduce Edmonton Airport's annual carbon emissions by approximately 20%, equivalent to eliminating 7,000-8,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This reduction is roughly equivalent to removing 2,400 vehicles from the road. Additionally, the project is estimated to reduce EIA's energy costs by approximately $800,000 per year when fully operational.
Edmonton International Airport