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Energy Efficiency at SAN

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport Authority) is committed to building an enduring and resilient enterprise by effectively managing its financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. The Airport Authority recognizes the complex link between energy performance and the security of the airport enterprise and are keenly aware that this interdependence warrants a bold vision and strategy to ensure sustainability into the future.

One way to secure this sustainable future is through the Strategic Energy Plan (STEP). The purpose of the STEP is to provide a framework for rethinking how the Airport Authority manages energy resources while preparing to accommodate passenger growth, development projects, and the added variability of a changing climate. The plan addresses key issues of energy efficiency and conservation, on-site energy generation and storage, enhanced monitoring of key energy metrics, and mechanisms to actively engage the broad spectrum of airport stakeholders.

These goals in the STEP will ultimately allow the Airport Authority to establish more dependable energy sources while offsetting GHG emissions. It will also allow the Airport Authority to pursue these goals in a way that appropriately contains costs maintaining financial prudence with energy expenditures as energy costs rise in the future.

In 2019, six Authority-driven energy efficiency lighting projects contributed to a significant decrease in Scope 2 emissions. These projects included lighting retrofits around the Terminal 2 West fountain area, Terminal 1 parking lot light retrofits, airfield lighting LED fixture replacement, Sunset Cove (Terminal 2 food court) lighting schedule modifications for fixtures to be turned off during the day, and apron lighting LED fixture replacement. These energy efficiency projects – along with the Airport Authority receiving over 85% grid-delivered and on-site renewable electricity to serve airport loads – led to a 68% reduction in 2019 Scope 2 emissions compared to 2018.

The airfield and in-terminal energy efficiency lighting replacements have significant financial and energy savings:

  • Over $332,000 in annual savings (energy and maintenance)
  • Approx. 4,126,025 MBTU annual energy savings or 1,209,218 kWh annual energy savings

Even during this unprecedented time, the Airport Authority continues to implement energy efficiency projects. Efficiency projects at the airport include upgrading the chilled water system instrumentation and operational programming in the Central Utility Plant which should lead to an 18% reduction in energy use, more LED retrofits in the terminals, and integration of electric submetering on the airport campus into a central energy dashboard to track detailed energy use and conservation efforts.

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