Seattle International Airport switches to renewable natural gas
The Port of Seattle’s latest environmental innovation is pushing to make Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport the nation’s first airport heated entirely by renewable natural gas. The Port announced a Request for Proposals, calling for renewable natural gas service to supply the airport’s boilers and bus fueling system, which is responsible for more than 80% of the Port-owned emissions.
“The Port can play a major role in creating a renewable natural gas market because we offer a stable, long-term use of natural gas,” said Arlyn Purcell, Director of Aviation Environment and Sustainability, Port of Seattle. “If we can attract a project developer to supply the airport, this will spur more opportunities to feed the current gas pipeline with biomethane rather than have landfills or digesters flare the gas on-site or allowing their methane emissions to escape into the air.”
The Port of Seattle has adopted aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals under its Century Agenda, with the aim to cut GHG emissions from its own operations by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 and to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050. Using biomethane would put the Port ahead of its 2030 goal, and well on the way to achieving the 2050 goal. In addition, the Port of Seattle’s top legislative priority is advocating for a clean fuel standard for the state of Washington in the upcoming legislative session.
How much the project will cost or where the biomethane would be sourced from will depend on the proposals the Port receives. If proposers offer a full replacement of the Port’s natural gas supply, it will result in greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 18,000 metric tons per year. This reduction is equivalent to the emissions from 4,500 cars or 900 U.S. households.