National Academies Press: OpenBook

Guidebook for Developing a Comprehensive Renewable Resources Strategy (2019)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Steps for Developing a Renewable Resources Strategy

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Steps for Developing a Renewable Resources Strategy." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Guidebook for Developing a Comprehensive Renewable Resources Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25433.
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Page 5
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Steps for Developing a Renewable Resources Strategy." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Guidebook for Developing a Comprehensive Renewable Resources Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25433.
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Page 6

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5 This chapter provides step-by-step instructions for developing a comprehensive renewable resources strategy, enabling readers to outline and craft a strategy that fits the needs of their airports. Appendix B provides a template for a renewable resources strategy document. 1) Define your vision. Including renewable resources into an airport’s vision statement allows for consideration and consistency within the context of the airport’s long-term capital improve- ment plan (CIP). This will ensure disconnects do not occur between the airport’s vision and the renewable resources strategy’s vision. The opening sections of the document should clearly state the vision for an airport’s renewable resources strategy, following guidelines discussed in this guidebook. Guidelines for creating a vision statement can be found in Chapter 3. 2) Assemble a team and engage stakeholders. Begin implementing the vision by identifying a strong leadership team and reaching out to appropriate key stakeholders. Refer to Table 3 on page 9 to determine the necessary stakeholders for a renewable resources strategy team. This team makes the case for various renewable resource projects and leads the planning and implementation process. The strategy document should include up-to-date contact information for all key stakeholders. The team should consider holding a planning workshop to gather input, identify resources and barriers, and set out a timeline and process for completing the strategy (see Appendix E for a sample workshop agenda and best practices). In order to make timely progress, the team may wish to meet every 2 to 4 weeks in a small group setting to review progress and address any challenges that may arise. In some cases, airports may find it useful to engage a consultant to support the develop- ment of the renewable resources strategy. This could include technical, logistical, or other types of support to supplement the internal team. See Appendix D for sample scope of work language that can be modified based on an airport’s support needs during this process. 3) Assess current renewable resources and set airport renewable resource goals. Determine the baseline and decide on the airport’s short- and long-term goals. These goals can be revised upon determining an airport’s available renewable resource opportunities. Solar PV is a proven renewable resource at multiple airports, but it may not be the correct first step for an airport, or an airport may have already exhausted its solar PV opportunities. Examine all opportunities and consider renewable resource projects that can fulfill the functional components of air- port management: enhancing economic viability, improving operational efficiency, ensuring natural resources conservation, and supporting social responsibility (EONS). Finding early wins will build momentum for future, more complex, projects. For exam- ple, instituting a recycling program can reduce overall waste and provide a positive public relations message for an airport. In the long-run, planners may decide to add a composting program or water reclamation for irrigation program to further renewable resource goals. Appendix A includes a tool that airport staff can use to identify and prioritize renewable resource opportunities. This tool may be best used as a first look at available opportunities C H A P T E R 2 Steps for Developing a Renewable Resources Strategy

6 Guidebook for Developing a Comprehensive Renewable Resources Strategy that can have a notable impact on overall airport operations, perhaps in conjunction with more formal feasibility studies and similar analyses. 4) Identify administrative, financial, and technical processes, and prioritize actions. These three key strategy elements impact nearly any renewable resource project undertaken at an airport. The renewable resources strategy should define the airport’s process for adminis- trative, financial, and technical analysis, and for reviews of new projects. It also explains how to apply these processes to projects envisioned in the strategy. Identify airport documents involved in the proposed renewable resource projects. These may include the airport layout plan (ALP), airport master plan, CIP, sustainability plan, and/or strategic energy plan. Note that renewable energy projects may require more administrative processes than non-energy renewable resource projects. Determine the project’s ownership structure and identify those responsible for operations and maintenance (O&M). Identify any funding opportunities, and consider cost savings and possible revenue streams from various renewable resource projects. Determine whether incentives or rebates are available in the airport’s area. Finally, learn from the examples of other airports and search for areas of innovation. Consider the physical constraints that may limit the available renewable resource options (e.g., space, available resources, existing utility operations). Generally, solar PV is compatible with airports due to its modular design, but wind power proves more difficult to site near airports due to the need for tall structures to capture wind energy. However, opportunities may be available for off-site solar or wind development. Note that while non-energy renewable resource projects may not require construction, technical assistance may prove valuable for evaluating proposed projects in comparison with on-site, self-developed alternatives. 5) Choose how to evaluate. Decide how to measure the success of these projects and how to track the airport’s adoption of renewable resources. Consider costs and impacts before project implementation to determine a baseline. Define anticipated project benefits and how these can be measured. Track cost savings, waste reduction, water usage, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, and energy consumption. Additionally, monitor the social benefits from the renewable resource projects (e.g., flying public’s responses to new projects) and consider the broader community’s perspective. Consider how projects can contribute to local or state renewables targets. Finally, document how renewable resources will be evaluated through a renewable resources strategy. 6) Write and implement your renewable resources strategy. Incorporate the results from Steps 1 to 5 into a customized, comprehensive renewable resources strategy. Whether a large or small airport, a renewable resources strategy facilitates necessary actions toward successful adoption of renewable resources. This strategy should be reviewed and updated as airport renewable resources goals change and as new renewable resource opportunities become available.

Next: Chapter 3 - Building the Airport Vision for Renewable Resources »
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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Research Report 197: Guidebook for Developing a Comprehensive Renewable Resources Strategy highlights renewable energy sources, includes steps for developing a renewable energy strategy, and identifies metrics for measuring success. The report also highlights real-world examples of successful renewable resource projects at airports.

Renewable resources to reduce emissions from airports and climate impacts have been discussed for several years. Technological advancements have allowed organizations, specifically airports, to begin integrating renewable resources into their overall energy plans. In an effort to address climate impacts and achieve neutral carbon growth by 2020, a coalition of aviation stakeholders has adopted emission reduction targets.

Airports are also seeking to become energy independent, and using renewable resources as a strategy to get there. Further, as the costs for conventional energy sources increases, renewable resources become more financially attractive. Those airports who have implemented renewable resources have been able to do so at minimal cost.

While a business case can be made for the integration of any one particular renewable resource, an airport can be more strategic by adopting an overall renewable resource strategy. The renewable resources strategy can then become an input to other airport planning documents (e.g., airport master plan, strategic plan). The success of developing the plan as well as implementation require all internal and external stakeholders are involved in the process.

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