Chch Air­port en­ergy ef­fi­ciency recog­nised

The Press - - Katoitoi - JACK FLETCHER

Be­hind the glass, steel and tim­ber, arte­sian wa­ter cour­ses through the walls of Christchurch Air­port.

The wa­ter is ex­tracted from a nat­u­ral aquifer un­der the air­port’s new­est ter­mi­nal, used to heat and cool the build­ing. The ini­tia­tive is one of a range aimed at re­duc­ing the build­ing’s en­ergy con­sump­tion and the planes that dock out­side it each day.

Since 2013, the air­port re­duced its en­ergy con­sump­tion by 21 per cent. In the last 12 months, enough en­ergy was saved to power 120 homes for a year.

‘‘We are very proud of [the team], es­pe­cially given these sav­ings have been achieved when we’ve had record num­bers of pas­sen­gers through the ter­mi­nal,’’ air­port sus­tain­abil­ity and strat­egy man­ager Rhys Boswell said.

The air­port’s ef­forts were recog­nised at the re­cent NZI Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Network Awards where they took out the Ef­fi­ciency Cham­pion cat­e­gory.

‘‘Our aim was to have the ter­mi­nal’s an­nual en­ergy use at 24 kilo­watt hours per square me­tre by 2017. The team smashed that tar­get quickly. They then broke our goal for 2020 (23.5kWh), and then the tar­get we set for 2025 (22.5kWh),’’ Boswell said.

For the 2017 fi­nan­cial year, the ter­mi­nal used 19.3kWh.

Christchurch Air­port was the first to use the aquifer sys­tem in New Zealand. Sim­i­lar sys­tems were in­stalled at the Pita Te Hori Cen­tre on Cam­bridge Tce, and the re­stored Arts Cen­tre, both in Christchurch. Wa­ter is sent through a heat ex­changer sys­tem which cre­ated warm or cold wa­ter in a sep­a­rate sys­tem. The wa­ter is then re­turned un­con­tam­i­nated to the aquifer.

The new Novo­tel ho­tel nearby would not be con­nected to the sys­tem, nor other air­port build­ings. A spokes­woman said the idea was in­ves­ti­gated but the pre­dom­i­nantly freight cam­pus ‘‘didn’t re­ally sup­port a district en­ergy sys­tem’’.

The air­port also in­stalled ground power units at four of 15 jet stands, mean­ing planes could turn their en­gines off while docked but keep their sys­tems run­ning. Boswell said fur­ther ground power units would be in­stalled soon.

‘‘Ev­ery day when the Emi­rates A380 flies in, it plugs into the ground power unit and saves 1000 kilo­grams of fuel, or 3150 kilo­grams of car­bon emis­sions each turn­around,’’ Boswell said.

LED lights were also in­stalled, and elec­tric ve­hi­cles had been in­tro­duced to their fleet.

The air­port has since im­ple­mented its first Sus­tain­abil­ity Strat­egy, which Boswell said ‘‘mo­ti­vates the team to in­no­vate and try new things so we im­prove our sus­tain­abil­ity per­for­mance. The im­por­tant thing is that we con­tinue to im­prove over­all’’.

"Ev­ery day when the Emi­rates A380 flies in, it plugs into the ground power unit and saves 1000 kilo­grams of fuel." Rhys Boswell, Christchurch Air­port

PHOTO: CHRISTCHURCH AIR­PORT

Since 2013, Christchurch Air­port low­ered their en­ergy con­sump­tion by 21 per cent.

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