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Nantucket Airport Carbon Neutral Event, June 28, 2014Governor Deval Patrick today launched the next phase of work to make Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK) the first and only airport in the country to entirely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from its airport-controlled operations. The implementation phase announced today includes execution of energy conservation measures and renewable energy installations that will reduce ACK’s reliance on external energy sources and eliminate nearly 1,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year at the airport.

MassDOT’s Aeronautics Division and Volpe National Transportation Systems Center  began a pilot program in October 2012 to create the first ever airport with “carbon neutral” ground operations in the United States. The Carbon Neutral Airport Pilot Program will assist the Nantucket Airport in implementing measures that dramatically reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The program will identify lessons learned and best practices to assist other general aviation and large commercial service airports in Massachusetts and across the country attain carbon-neutral status.

“At MassDOT we are committed to innovation in transportation,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard Davey. “As one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, we have a moral responsibility to think creatively about how we reduce our impact. This project is a shining example of that thinking and will set the bar for airports across the country.”

Phase One of the project, completed this past spring, included data collection, inventory and the selection of Honeywell Building Solutions of Canton, an Energy Service Company (ESCO), which conducted a comprehensive energy audit that allowed the airport to identify improvements to save energy.

Phase Two, launched today, will implement over 25 Energy Conservation Measures to achieve carbon neutrality and include elements such as arrays of solar photovoltaic panels between 1.5 megawatts (MW) and 2.1 MW, as well as a suite of new building equipment including both indoor and outdoor LED lighting, retro commissioning of major mechanical systems including energy recovery ventilators, building envelope improvements, solar thermal development to provide a renewable source of hot water heating, an integrated building management platform, highly efficient infrared garage heating and boiler burner replacements.  The Carbon Neutral project includes $805,000 in MassDOT Aeronautics funding along with other expected local and federal funding sources.

The project supports the MassDOT “GreenDOT” sustainability implementation plan and the 2010 Massachusetts Statewide Airport System Plan, which includes six statewide system goals and more than 50 performance measures designed to help the Aeronautics Division monitor airport performance. Among the six goals the Carbon Neutral project supports is Environmental Compliance and Stewardship, requiring airports to pursue sustainability practices to protect the natural environment and quality of life for airport employees and neighbors, and promote the economic development potential of the airport.

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