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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22399.
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Page 3
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22399.
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Page 4
Page 5
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22399.
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Page 5
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22399.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

3 Introduction 1.1 ACRP Problem Statement Energy demand projections continue to indicate growth well into the future, necessitating continued innovation and expanded capacity of our energy supply and distribution net- work. Efficiency improvements to electricity and transporta- tion fuel systems will reduce the average amount of energy used per person, but aggregate energy consumption will main- tain its rise over the long term due to continuous population growth and increased demand in the industrial and commercial sectors.1 Various energy technologies are already competing to meet this projected demand, including fossil fuels and renewable resources. Widespread use of hydraulic fractur- ing (i.e., “fracking”) and directional drilling for natural gas and petroleum, as well as technological advances in wind and solar energy, have dramatically increased energy sup- plies and reduced costs. Based on these trends, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) projects natural gas, renewables, and biofuels to all grow in their total share of U.S. energy use, with corresponding reductions in coal and petroleum use (see Figure 1.1).2 According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), biomass, geother- mal, solar, hydro, and wind power accounted for 49.10 per- cent of all new electric power generating capacity installed in 2012,3 accounting for 15.75 percent of total capacity as of April 2013.4 In fact, renewables represented 84.5 percent of all new generation in-service from January to April 2013, up 5.6 percent over the same period in 2012.5 These industry trends indicate that new energy exploration will be pervasive and will involve projects at sites that were previously considered infeasible or unconventional, includ- ing on or near airport properties. Airport sponsors may be proponents of energy projects on airport property as a way to offset energy costs or generate additional revenue. Such projects do pose certain complications, though, as airport sponsors may not be prepared for the financial and operational risks of the energy industry. Furthermore, laws and policies regarding the impact of energy facilities on aviation activities are not yet well defined. Project stakeholders must be familiar with existing regulations and technical standards, as well as aware of ongoing developments as government oversight increasingly reflects industry trends. The FAA is currently creating new technical guidance materials and updating existing documents to assist stake- holders and airport sponsors involved with energy technology projects. In November 2010, the FAA published Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports. In June 2011, ACRP Synthesis 28: Investigating Safety Impacts of Energy Technologies on Airports and Aviation further explored the safety impacts of a broad variety of energy technologies. ACRP Synthesis 28 states that, in recent years, “a significant amount of research has been conducted . . . on energy tech- nologies and their safety impacts on airports and aviation,” including projects by the FAA, the California Energy Com- mission, the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laborato- ries, and the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM). The FAA has also “actively administer[ed] airspace reviews to assess the potential impact of energy projects . . . in con- cert with state agencies.” While the study noted that several measures have been implemented by regulatory agencies to mitigate the impacts of energy technologies, it recommended C H A P T E R 1 1U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), “Market Trends—U.S. Energy Demand,” May 2, 2013: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/MT_energydemand.cfm#renew_ natgas. 2Ibid. 3Renewable Energy Focus, “Half of new U.S. power capacity in 2012 renewable— FERC,” January 22, 2013: http://www.renewableenergyfocususa.com/view/30367/ half-of-new-us-power-capacity-in-2012-renewable-ferc/. 4U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Office of Energy Projects, “Energy Infrastructure Update,” April 2013: http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff- reports/2013/apr-energy-infrastructure.pdf. 5Ibid.

4that “several data collections be conducted to enhance the knowledge base” for this topic, including “siting and planning guidance for each energy technology.”7 Subject matter expert feedback for ACRP Synthesis 28 also indicated that the impact of energy technologies on or near airport properties could extend well beyond immediate airport environs. Therefore, with this report, the ACRP has commissioned a thorough evaluation of the safety effects that energy technologies may have on the air transportation system. Based on this evalua- tion, the report also contains best practices, including siting guidelines, as a reference tool for addressing these safety con- cerns during project planning and development. 1.2 Drivers The development of new and alternative energy resources is considered to be in the national interest supporting eco- nomic investment, environmental protection, and national security. Policies for promoting domestically produced and cleaner energy have resulted in three primary drivers behind the increased interaction between energy and aviation: (1) advancing technology, (2) decentralized energy generation, and (3) new opportunities for airports. The following sections describe these drivers in detail. 1.2.1 Advancing Technology 1.2.1.1 More Efficient and Cost-Effective Solar Energy Technologies The solar energy industry has expanded in recent years, primarily attributable to reduced production costs that have made solar technologies more affordable for utilities and consumers alike. In addition, the widespread deployment of solar technologies has been recognized by homeowners, businesses, and government agencies as a rational economic investment to minimize the risk from volatile energy prices in the future. For example, when a homeowner installs a system on his roof, he has a high level of certainty (usually warranted by manufacturers) about how much electricity the system will produce over a 25-year period. These factors have led to widespread adoption of solar and market con- fidence to sustain the industry into the future, irrespective of any future breakthroughs in efficiency gains that may be achieved. 1.2.1.2 Larger and More Efficient Wind Turbines Wind power is responsible for most of the significant prog- ress in large-scale renewable energy generation throughout the world. No other renewable energy power generation can produce the capacity of a traditional power plant (when the wind is blowing). These successes have been achieved by building taller wind turbines composed of lighter and stronger materials to reach higher into the sky and extract a more consis- tent wind resource. While these taller turbines have improved the efficiency of wind energy generation, they can also create safety hazards for air navigation. 1.2.1.3 Directional Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing Directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing are not new technologies. However, their application in extracting natural gas efficiently from narrow shale seams has had an enormous impact on the country’s fuel prices. Natural gas exploration and development has increased exponentially in specific areas of the country (the Dakotas, Texas, and Western Pennsylvania) creating new and expanding towns and economies. An over- supply in the past few years has slowed development but those natural gas resources will remain productive and activ- ity may only slow due to increased environmental regulation. Airports in areas with shale resources are watching closely to see if energy leasing can provide an alternative revenue source (see Section 1.2.3). 1.2.2 Decentralization of the Energy Network 1.2.2.1 Distribution of New Energy Resources New energy resources require development of generation and distribution infrastructure (e.g., power plants, power lines, and pipelines) where the resource is located rather than where populations reside. The traditional model has been to build large electricity generation facilities near population centers and deliver the fuel (e.g., natural gas, coal, oil) needed to fire 6EIA, “Market Trends—U.S. Energy Demand,” May 2, 2013: http://www.eia.gov/ forecasts/aeo/MT_energydemand.cfm#renew_natgas. 7Barrett, S., and P. DeVita, ACRP Synthesis 28: Investigating Safety Impacts of Energy Technologies on Airports and Aviation, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC, 2011. Figure 1.1. Primary energy use by fuel, 1980–2040 (quadrillion btu).6 Qu ad rill ion B tu

5 the plant. Renewable energy generation facilities must be built in geographic areas with abundant sun or wind resources, often in remote areas, and electricity must then be distributed over long distances to population centers, necessitating new electricity transmission infrastructure. For instance, many of the windiest parts of the country are in Midwestern agricultural land, which are not proximate to urban centers along the east and west coasts, nor the Great Lakes. Thus, new high-capacity electrical lines are being installed to transport wind energy from rural areas to urban centers. Natural gas development is also tied to the specific regions where shale gas resources (also referred to as plays) have been discovered, creating economic opportunity in unexpected locations but also necessitating new distribution infrastructure to consumers in distant markets. This geographic expansion of energy development means that more airports are closer to new energy infrastructure and that airport properties them- selves are likely locations for exploration. 1.2.2.2 Increased On-Site Energy Generation Decentralization of the energy network is also capitalizing on the economic benefits of generating electricity on-site and avoiding the delivery charges associated with purchasing the electricity from the utility service provider. This is best exemplified by solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. Particularly for large, on-site energy users, the cost of building solar PV will be lower than other energy sources because all of the electricity can be used on-site and the “middle man” (the local utility) does not intercede for profit. This rationale is applicable to energy generation like solar PV at airports. 1.2.3 Alternative Airport Revenue Sources 1.2.3.1 Revenue Considerations for Different Energy Types Airports are always looking for opportunities to increase revenue to support their aviation businesses and improve their competitive position relative to each other. New energy development provides opportunity for both new revenue and cost savings. On the revenue side, airports may be able to lease land that is not useful for other aviation or non-aviation com- mercial business development, due to proximity and access to valuable airport infrastructure, earning potential revenue from those leases. For airports in shale resource areas, that means learning about the business and observing whether gas prices are high enough to justify investments based on revenue potential. Other airports may be interested in leasing land for solar PV installations. In terms of cost savings, airports may also consider developing solar or even wind energy if the production price is lower than existing electricity obligations to local utilities. 1.2.3.2 Airport-Owned Resources and Private Party Leases As discussed further in this Guidebook, about three dozen solar projects have been developed at airports and business plans for their development have generally been of two types. First, airports can capitalize, own, and construct the facilities them- selves, relying on low-interest bonds or federal government grants. The risk is held entirely by the airport but the benefits of free electricity will also be realized more immediately. The sec- ond option has been to lease land to a private developer of solar energy that can take advantage of federal and state tax credits (which are unavailable to public airports). The private devel- oper then passes the financial benefits to the airport in the form of lease payments or discounted electricity. The sophistication and diversity in structuring energy projects has also increased the number of economically viable opportunities. 1.3 Organization of the Guidebook The Guidebook is organized functionally to serve two primary purposes: (1) to provide a detailed literature and research review of energy technologies and their relative impacts on airspace and aviation planning and (2) to pro- vide a reference tool for planning and siting related to energy technology projects on or near airport property. Chapter 2, “Airspace and Airports” first defines airspace from the perspective of aviation users. Then, an overview of FAA management of the National Airspace System (NAS) is provided, including its regulatory interaction with airports. Later, Chapter 2 covers plans for operational improvements within the NAS (notably the Next Generation Air Transpor- tation System, or NextGen). Finally, an analysis of aviation accidents and incidents related to energy technologies is pre- sented, providing a context for understanding the impacts of new energy technology projects and opportunities for plan- ning process improvements. Chapter 3, “Energy Technologies and Aviation Safety Impacts” is divided into several sub-sections pertaining to different energy technology types, including Solar, Wind, Oil and Gas Drilling, Steam Turbine Power Plants, and Electricity Transmission. Each technology sub-section provides an over- view of recent industry trends as well as recent developments in government regulations, and relevant information for aviation projects. After the overview content, unique technological issues are explained, particularly in conjunction with projects affecting airspace and airports. Specific project challenges are then illustrated through various case studies. Finally, lessons learned through experience and research is presented to assist planning for future endeavors and improve project success for multiple stakeholders. Chapter 4, “Guidance” is also organized by energy tech- nology, digesting lessons learned from experience to develop specific project siting and planning guidance that can assist

6airport managers and planners, as well as energy professionals. Chapter 4 is intended as a reference tool for project manag- ers and stakeholders. It is better understood in the context of Chapters 2 and 3 but, after initial review, can provide a stand-alone resource. In conclusion, Chapter 5, “Moving Forward” restates the primary result of the research conducted and outlines ongoing research related to aviation safety and energy technologies, suggested areas for additional research, and current progress in the government regulatory framework as well as issues that deserve additional focus. 1.4 Audience This Guidebook is intended for review and use by airport managers and planners, aviation professionals, and energy professionals. Airport managers and planners will find the Guidebook helpful to understand the context of energy proj- ect impacts on aviation use, provide a basic understanding of various energy technologies, and improve information to assess on- and off-airport project proposals. Aviation professionals will likely derive value from this Guidebook to assist airports and energy firms in assessing proposed proj- ects and implementing them with minimal aviation impact. Finally, energy professionals will benefit from the informa- tion in this Guidebook for understanding aviation issues and improving project siting compatibility and early stage project development. It is suggested that all readers review the entire Guide- book for a more complete understanding of the confluence of aviation and energy technologies from the perspective of safety issues. In addition, all readers are encouraged to utilize Chapter 4, “Guidance” for assistance in future project review and development.

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 Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace
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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 108: Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace describes processes to plan, develop, and construct energy production and transmission technologies at and around airports. The guidebook emphasizes aviation safety practices in order to help ensure a safe and efficient national air system while still helping to meet U.S. domestic energy production needs.

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