Detroit Metropolitan Airport will further reduce its consumption of fossil fuels by producing its own wind energy at two locations on opposite ends of the facility.
The Wayne County Airport Authority Board approved a contract with Michigan-based Southern Exposure Renewable Energy Co. to install five wind turbines at the airport entrance on Rogell Drive and at the South Cell Phone Lot on Eureka Road.
Unlike the traditional, towering, three-blade, windmill-type turbines, the Windspire units, manufactured by MasTech Manufacturing of Manisee, are cylindrical, vertical-axis wind turbines that operate quietly while generating electricity for immediate use regardless
of wind direction. At only 30-feet in height, they easily fit within DTW’s airspace height limitations.
“We have calculated that the two units at the South Cell Phone Lot will, on average, generate 60 to 70 percent of the power needed for the lot’s overhead lights and to illuminate the sign,” said WCAA Director of Facilities and Infrastructure Ali Dib. “On
windy days and during daylight hours, we will be feeding electricity back to DTE Energy’s grid.”
The wind energy project is one of many environmentally friendly initiatives at the airport. DTW has been the world leader in recycling aircraft de-icing fluid for eight of the past nine years. The new North Terminal is programmed to harvest daylight and to automatically reduce lighting and cooling in terminal areas not in use. The North Terminal also supplies pre-conditioned air, 400hz power and underground jet fuel to each gate which reduces the need for aircraft engines to be idling and excess vehicles on the
ramp. This is expected to reduce emissions of various air pollutants by more than 1,300 tons over the expected life-span of the building.
The airport has installed a solar panel and LED lighting prototype at the North Cell Phone Lot and established more efficient electrical fixtures in the parking structures saving $79,000 in energy costs annually.
In 1999, Detroit Metropolitan Airport received international acclamation for the creation of Crosswinds Marsh, a 1,000-acre wetland preserve constructed in Sumpter Township to replace airfield wetlands disturbed by runway and terminal construction. Described as “Michigan’s showcase wetland,” the preserve continues to provide spectacular habitat for a variety of wildlife and offers public access and educational opportunities for children.
“Many other such initiatives are under way or planned for the future,” said WCAA CEO Lester Robinson. “We continue to look for opportunities to be a friend to the environment while maintaining one of the most operationally-capable airports in the world.”
Source: WWJ Newsradio 950