Port of Seattle Aims to Heat Sea-Tac Airport Entirely with RNG
The Port of Seattle is pushing to make Seattle-Tacoma International Airport the nation’s first airport heated entirely by renewable natural gas. The port recently announced a Request for Proposals for RNG service to supply Sea-Tac’s boilers and bus fueling system, which is responsible for more than 80 percent of the port-owned emissions.
All of the current fossil natural gas would be replaced by RNG, which is also known as biomethane and is produced by the decomposition of organic matter, typically produced by landfills, wastewater treatment plants and food and animal waste digesters.
“The port can play a major role in creating a renewable natural gas market because we offer a stable, long-term use of gas,” says Arlyn Purcell, the port’s director of Aviation Environment and Sustainability. “If we can attract a project developer to supply the airport, this will spur more opportunities to feed the current gas pipeline with RNG rather than have landfills or digesters flare the gas on-site or allowing their methane emissions to escape into the air.”
The port previously adopted aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals under its Century Agenda, with the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050. Ranked as the ninth busiest U.S. airport, Sea-Tac International served 46.9 million passengers and more than 425,800 metric tons of air cargo in 2017, producing a regional economic impact pegged at more than $22.5 billion.
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