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Volpe Helps MassDOT Lead the Way in Carbon Neutrality

Friday, June 27, 2014

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick provided the keynote speech at an event at Nantucket Memorial Airport on June 27, 2014, to celebrate the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division and Volpe’s efforts to develop the first-ever carbon-neutral airport.

Volpe, the MassDOT Aeronautics Division, the Nantucket Memorial Airport in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Honeywell Building Solutions are working together to bring Nantucket Memorial Airport to carbon neutrality.

The recent event marked the beginning of the second phase of the project.

Volpe's David Arthur with Governor Deval Patrick at Nantucket Memorial Airport.“What is important about this project is that it can provide an example for ways that other airports can reduce their energy use and gain the additional benefit of approaching or achieving carbon neutrality,” said Volpe project manager David Arthur.

Volpe Project Manager David Arthur (left) with Mass Governor Deval Patrick at the Nantucket Memorial Airport. (MassDOT photo)

Other event speakers included the following:

  • MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey
  • Deputy Regional Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration New England Region Todd Friedenberg
  • Town of Nantucket Selectman Rick Atherton
  • President of Honeywell Building Solutions Paul Orzeske

A Two-Phased Approach

Volpe, MassDOT Aeronautics, and the Nantucket Memorial Airport are working with Honeywell Building Solutions, an energy service company (ESCO), to provide upgrades to the airport that will reduce energy use and offset the remaining energy with zero carbon energy generation. Together, they recently conducted a comprehensive audit that allowed the airport to identify improvements to save energy.

In the first phase of the project, in addition to facilitating the selections of both the airport and the ESCO, Volpe conducted an assessment of the airport’s baseline energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. After studying the airport’s plug and process loads, it became apparent that reducing energy usage can be as simple as lowering the thermostat or not leaving the coffeemaker plugged in. In addition to the baseline assessment, Volpe examined human behaviors that, if changed, could reduce energy waste, such as turning off the lights when staff leave a room or unplugging vending machines housed in the summer portion of the airport during the off-season.

Governor Deval Patrick speaks from behind a podium at Nantucket Memorial Airport.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick launches the next phase of work to make Nantucket Memorial Airport the first-ever carbon-neutral airport. (MassDOT photo)

“During the second phase of the project, we will begin providing an educational component by sitting down with the airport staff to discuss their energy conservation habits,” Arthur said.

The second phase will also include the implementation of the energy savings measures and the installation of a large, carbon-offsetting photovoltaic solar array. Honeywell Building Solutions will install and maintain new equipment in the airport. The difference between the old energy bills and the new, lower energy bills fund the new equipment and Honeywell’s involvement.

Award-Winning Project

This project won the Women in Transportation Seminar’s (WTS) Innovative Transportation Solutions Award and was recently recognized at the WTS Boston Awards ceremony. The project was nominated as an effective partnership between federal, state, and local agencies working to create a carbon-neutral airport that will serve as a guide for buildings, airports, and municipalities seeking to achieve carbon neutrality.

For more information on the Nantucket Memorial Airport project, please visit the following:

Nantucket Airport.
Nantucket Memorial Airport in Nantucket, Massachusetts. (Town of Nantucket photo)