Sea-Tac plans to be first airport heated solely by renewable gas

The Port of Seattle is planning for Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport to become the first airport in the United States to be solely heated by renewable gas.

Costs of the project will depend on the proposals the Port receives. If proposers offer full replacement of the Port’s natural gas supply, results could see greenhouse gas emissions reduce by 18,000 metric tons every year.

Renewable natural gas (RNG) is a natural gas produced by the decomposition of organic matter, produced by landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and food and animal waste digesters. Replacing fossil natural gas with RNG would put the Port ahead of its 2030 goal, and well on the way to achieving the 2050 goal. RNG

Arlyn Purcell, Director of Aviation Environment and Sustainability, Port of Seattle, said: “If we can attract a project developer to supply the airport, this will spur more opportunities to feed the current gas pipeline with RNG rather than have landfills or digesters flare the gas on-site or allowing their methane emissions to escape into the air.”

The Port of Seattle has adopted aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals under its Century Agenda, with the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and to be carbon neutral or carbon negative by 2050.

The Port must find innovative ways to attract RNG project developers to the market rather than compensate existing sources for the same rate they would receive for transportation RNG.