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Wichita Airport May Add Wind Energy

wichita airportIf plans go ahead, a new terminal at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport would incorporate miniature wind turbines to generate a portion of its electricity.

The wind turbines would be enough to light a new parking garage at the Kansas airport, reports Kansas.com. The airport also is planning other sustainable initiatives.

Based on the wind potential in the area, Director of Airports Victor White called it a “no-brainer.”

White said the turbines would be similar to those installed at Boston’s Logan International Airport, which has  20 10-foot-tall wind turbines on the roof of its offices that generate about 100,000 KWH a year, or about two percent of the building’s monthly energy use.

At the Wichita airport, one consideration is whether the turbines would interfere with the airport’s radios and radar equipment. Another consideration is the potential noise level, White said.

White said the Wichita airport is also considering solar panels at the $150 million terminal addition, although he is concerned that they may produce too much glare and be unsafe for incoming pilots.

The terminal also plans to incorporate other sustainable features, including high-performance insulation systems, low-solar heat-gain glazing systems and high-performance HVAC equipment.

Additionally, the airport plans to use groundwater heat for snow-melt systems in the sidewalks.

The terminal also will incorporate lighting controls to take advantage of daylight from the skylights and large glass walls.

The building, expected to open in 2013, aims to become LEED certified.

Denver International Airport is planning to build a $7 million solar electric-generating system to power its fuel storage and distribution system.

While it does not have wind turbines located on site, the Philadelphia International Airport purchases a portion of its electricity through Peco Energy Co.’s Peco Wind program.

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