London City Airport to Install Microgrid

London City Airport, which is undergoing a £500 million (~$633 million US) City Airport Development Program (CADP), will work with its energy infrastructure partner, UK Power Networks Services, to install a microgrid that combines solar photovoltaic, combined heat and power, and smart automation software. The microgrid will double the size of the airport’s electrical distribution infrastructure (from 3.6MVA to 7MVA) and is expected to enhance the security and resilience of the network, reduce the cost of infrastructure, and improve air quality around the airport.

The upgrade will include installing new electrical substations and solar panels and connecting a combined heat and power unit. The electricity network will also be ‘smart’ thanks in part to a new SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system that will remotely control the electricity network.

Peter Adams, chief development officer of London City Airport, said: “UK Power Networks Services has a long-standing working partnership with London City Airport and the next chapter of this collaboration will embrace the latest low carbon technology to deliver growth more sustainably. Their continued support, well into the future for both the ongoing investment program and the wider energy strategy, as well as the continued management of the electricity distribution network, will ensure we are best placed to maximize our commitment to sustainability and the environment.”

Ian Smyth, director of UK Power networks services, added: “We are excited to deliver this turnkey solution for our valued client. We are designing, building, operating, maintaining and financing this innovative solution. Our ability to bring these technologies together delivers triple bottom line benefits for the airport – lower cost, greater resilience and help towards the UK’s decarbonization agenda. Microgrids are the holy grail of new sustainable renewable energy networks. Finding ways to make microgrids economically viable and self-funding has challenged global energy markets for decades. We’re proud to be a long-term partner with such an ambitious airport as London City that is committed to transforming the passenger experience, bringing innovation and long-term sustainability. We will continue to work together to identify innovative ways of addressing the airport’s energy requirements.”