Dallas-Forth Worth Int’l Breaks Ground on $234M Renewable Energy Plant for Sustainable Airport Operations
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) authorities, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), marked a significant milestone in its commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in airport operations with the groundbreaking of a new $234 million utility plant. The plant will be utilized to provide 100% renewable energy for heating and cooling purposes at the airport.
A Key Step in Sustainability and Future Expansion
The plant, named the Electric Central Utility Plant, is expected to open in mid-2025. The plant will be located between Terminals A and B.
The use of renewable energy at DFW will considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), enhance local air quality, and cut water consumption by 29%. The airport is not only focused on reducing its carbon footprint, but also on undertaking other renovations and expansions. The Electric Central Utility Plant is a key part of the airport’s future projects, including terminal renovations, roadway upgrades, and the addition of a new passenger terminal.
With more than half of the project’s funding coming from federal sources, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the renewable energy resource for the airport represents a collaborative effort at the federal, state, and local levels. Furthermore, the project aligns with the area’s growth, and broader growth across the state. The Electric Central Utility plant will provide the necessary energy and resources to match increasing population and demand.
By the end of the decade, DFW Airport CEO, Sean Donohue said the airport will work on overall electrification of the airport. It is exploring adding support for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft — which are similar but quieter than helicopters and produce zero emissions. The airport plans to reconstruct one of its major runways in the coming weeks, adding that it’s looking to recycle 100% of the concrete.
The Electric Central Utility plant will improve air quality in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and enable economic growth by providing both short and long-term jobs for skilled workers and technicians in North Texas. “We continue to be global leaders when it comes to aviation sustainability, and this project will enable us to keep pushing that,” Donohue, the airport CEO, said.
At the groundbreaking, Cameron Bryan, Deputy Director of the FAA, hailed DFW as the nation’s first and largest carbon-neutral airport, and said the renewable energy plant will help DFW Airport set an example for the aviation industry worldwide.
In August 2016, DFW received recognition from Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) for its actions to manage and minimize CO2 emissions. DFW’s actions, from efficient technology to public transport incentives, was recognized by the Council for DFW’s leadership in sustainable practices within the global aviation system.
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