Archive for the ‘Steve’s State’ Category

Observations from a Panel at the ACC/AAAE Design and Construction Conference in Denver

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel on how airports apply unique engineering techniques to take advantage of available resources. I started off the panel discussion by presenting information on ACRP 02-56, Developing the Airport Business Case for Renewable Energy where I described how the research will produce a ranking system which quantifies the economic, self-sustainability, and environmental benefits of renewable energy projects. These benefits include stabilizing long-term electricity costs, investing in a modernized electricity generation and distribution network to ensure reliability and resiliency, and advancing environmental initiatives to open up permitting for future development. Traci Holton, Manager of Design at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, followed up with a discussion of a variety of examples from Nashville Airport (BNA) including solar planning (which I am helping them with – thanks for the kudos Traci), to asphalt and rock reuse, to converting mulch produced through vegetation management activities into improving site stabilization and minimizing runoff. Traci also described their Geothermal Project which will utilize the constant water temperature from a large on-site quarry for heating and cooling resulting in savings to the airport from avoided natural gas use and potable water previously purchased for boiler make-up and on-site irrigation. The project is currently out-to-bid with a design-build format and requiring a minimum payback period. The last speaker was Dale Stubbs, Associate Vice President for AECOM in Atlanta, who talked about Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson’s (ATL) Green Acres Recycling Facility that is presently under development. The unique facility will be built, owned and operated by a third party contractor on 39-acres of airport property where all the airport’s waste will be delivered, sorted and managed including the use of compost for growing food that will be sold back to concessionaires. Each of these projects shows how airports can be leaders in developing innovative approaches to areas such as energy consumption and waste management that can produce a financial benefit through the efficient use of available resources.

ICAO Green Technologies Seminar

Friday, September 26th, 2014

by Stephen Barrett

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convened its first seminar focused entirely on Green Technologies at its headquarters in Montreal on September 9 and 10. The program occurred just days after the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a report stating that carbon dioxide levels rose in 2013 at unprecedented rates.

The seminar ran a gamut of green technology issues in aviation, from those associated with aircraft (cleaner burning engines, alternative fuels, more efficient airspace procedures) to green buildings fueled by renewable energy and minimizing surface transportation effects. The team from Solar Impulse, the solar powered plane that flew across the US and Europe in 2013 and is now redesigning its aircraft for a round-the-world flight, participated in the seminar through two video presentations that provided inspiration to the participants as to what can be achieved. At an evening reception, Airbus made a formal release of its single passenger electric-powered plane which was previous unveiled at its headquarters over the summer. The two companies also discussed technologies that can be readily incorporated into existing planes to allow them to taxi on the ground entirely on electric power.

I was fortunate to be asked to make a presentation on the opportunities for airports to develop renewable energy to power on-site facilities. During my presentation, I reviewed a variety of technologies – including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydrokinetics, and fuel cells – and discussed the state of the technology, its markets and applications, and compatibility with airports including examples from around the world. ICAO would like to make this type of information more readily available to member states and there are plans to provide guidance on a variety of green technologies based on information that was presented at the seminar.

As Solar Impulse 2 prepares for its round-the-world flight in 2015, it is clear that there are challenges to the world’s aviation industries in a future of climate change, but that there are also opportunities to those who seize them.

ICAO Green Technologies Seminar

ICAO Green Technologies Seminar

ACRP Releases HMMH-authored Report on Energy Projects and Airports and Airspace

Friday, April 25th, 2014

by Stephen Barrett

HMMH is pleased to inform clients and colleagues of the official release of Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 108 “Energy Technologies Compatibility with Airports and Airspace.” This report is the first in a series of ACRP Reports on energy and airports that are expected for release in the next year. The HMMH-authored report reviews the aviation industry’s experience with a variety of energy technologies including solar, wind, oil and gas drilling, and traditional electricity generation and transmission, and provides guidance for future projects to avoid impacts on airports and airspace. The report is timely given the country’s focus on domestic energy production to serve economic and national security interests and to diversify energy generation sources toward cleaner fuels, including renewables. The guidance will also help airports as they consider opportunities to lease out underutilized non-aeronautical property for energy production.

ACRP Report 108

BRIGHT IDEAS! – How airports can obtain a rebate from the Federal Government for new construction or renovations – an EXCERPT FROM THE AAAE ENERGY FORUM, March 7, 2014

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

by Steve Barrett

I was at the AAAE Energy Forum in San Diego a few weeks back.  The forum is a lesser known gathering of the AAAE community every two years where participants focus exclusively on energy issues.  I was fortunate enough to moderate a roundtable segment of the program where funding of energy efficiency technologies was discussed.  Topics included experience with Energy Services Companies (ESCOs), utility rebates, tax credits, and potential funding from the FAA.  

One of the real gems from the conference was a discussion of the 179d Tax Deduction Program, which allows designers to file energy efficiency projects for as much as a 20% tax deduction.  Now your first reaction is likely that airports, as government entities, cannot take a tax deduction because they don’t pay taxes.  And you would be correct.  However, the Internal Revenue Service allows government entities, including airports, to formally assign the tax benefit to a private entity involved in the project construction that can take advantage of and monetize the tax deduction.  

So what type of work is eligible for a tax deduction? 

Answer: any new construction or major renovation completed within the past three years that included energy code improvements that are above the ASHRAE 90.1-2001 Standard.  A simple example is changing out all your traditional lighting in a parking garage with LEDs.  20% of the cost of that project can be returned to the airport and project consultant through the 179d Program.  A real world example is occurring at Miami-Dade International Airport which installed a new central power plant and will be receiving a $1.4m credit for the work.  If you are interested in learning more, please send me an email.

Tidal Energy Project Report Published

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

by Steve Barrett

HMMH’s technical report entitled “Environmental Effects of Sediment Transport Alteration and Impacts on Protected Species: Edgartown Tidal Energy Project” has been published at www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1059377/ by the U. S. Department of Energy.

The Town of Edgartown Massachusetts holds a permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) providing it with exclusive rights to develop a tidal energy project in Muskeget Channel. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, HMMH, on behalf of the Town, is managing a comprehensive study of the marine environment in Muskeget Channel and assessing the potential impacts of the tidal project on indicator species and habitats. HMMH is also working under separate state funding with the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (UMASS-D) to undertake siting and engineering studies as funding becomes available.

Read more about this project on our website.