Go ahead. Make all the lightbulb jokes you want.
Colorado’s Centennial Airport (KAPA) is laughing all the way to the bank — and has reduced its airfield energy footprint by more than 46,000 kilowatt-hours.
As a matter of fact, the 50-year-old airport’s bright idea to reduce energy usage on the airfield has been lauded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.CDPHE, in partnership with the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and the Colorado Environmental Partnership, honored Centennial Airport at its annual Environmental Leadership Awards ceremony.
“We are very excited to be among those to be named a Bronze Level Achiever this year,” said Centennial Airport Noise and Environmental Specialist Dylan Heberlein. “While this is our first year to be recognized, it’s nice to know that what we’ve been doing, here at the airport, over the past five years has been on track.”
“For us, we saw the biggest return when we replaced conventional incandescent edge lighting along airport movement areas with low energy light-emitting diode (LED) lights, Heberlein said. “Along with upgrades to airfield wiring and new, more efficient voltage regulators, we’ve seen a significant reduction in overall kilowatt hour usage over the past five years.”
In total, more than 1,000 runway and taxiway lights were replaced, as well as lighting in 80 on-airfield directional signs.
“We’re making a lot of small changes that, for us, have delivered some really impressive results,” said Centennial Airport Senior Planner Gina Conley.
In fact, energy bills for the airport from 2015 to 2017 show a reduction of 46,440 kWh or about $6,600 in savings.
According to statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, that savings could power four residential homes for just over a year.
And there are other benefits, too.
“LED lighting lasts longer than conventional lighting, so there’s some noticeable savings when it comes to replacement parts,” said Conley. “In addition, the LEDs are brighter, crisper, more visible, and that’s a big win when it comes to runway safety.”
These days, Centennial Airport uses significantly less power than it consumed just three years ago.
“And we’re not quite done, yet,” Heberlein said. “These numbers only reflect the energy savings for two of our three runways. We will be replacing the lighting on our parallel runway (17R/35L) and its associated taxiway in the summer of 2020, so we expect to see even more reduction in energy use in the very near future.”