Environmental stewardship and sustainability are key components of TPA growth
With so much growth and construction happening at Tampa International Airport, incorporating green designs and sustainable practices has been more important than ever. From water usage to reducing carbon emissions, several initiatives to protect TPA's surrounding natural resources have been underway since 2009, with TPA's team constantly looking for ways to build on these efforts.
Here are just a few of the ways TPA is minimizing its impact on the environment while continuing to serve millions of passengers each month and making room for more in our future.
Central Utility Plant
TPA’s newest addition as a component of Master Plan Phase 2 is the Central Utility Plant, otherwise known as the CUP. This new facility is not only aesthetically appealing, it also cuts down on the Airport’s impact on our natural resources.
Meant to be seen instead of hidden, the new CUP showcases what was once kept out of sight. With colorful pipes and a striking central design, the CUP, a 10,000-square foot facility not only looks attractive, but the effects it has on TPA’s reduction in overall energy consumption are significant.
Creating 30 percent more efficiency, the CUP will remove the equivalent of about 620 vehicles worth of carbon dioxide emissions each year. The CUP is projected to save 25 million gallons of water per year using reclaimed water and has increased the overall capacity by 33 percent. The CUP also reduces the demand on boilers and overall natural gas consumption via a new heat recovery chiller.
Car Charging Stations
Car charging stations are in every parking facility available to the public at TPA. Two designated spaces are available in the Cell Phone Waiting Lot, four in the Economy Parking and Short Term Parking Garages, as well as six spaces located in within the Long Term Parking garage. Recently, the Airport and its construction partners installed 66 brand new electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garages of its new SkyCenter One office building, which itself recently received the highest level of LEED certification. Boasting a total of 82 electric vehicle charging spaces, TPA is well-prepared to invite more and more plug-powered vehicles to its campus.
Tampa International Airport began using reclaimed water in 2009 for landscape irrigation and cooling towers. To date, more than 900 million gallons of reclaimed water have been utilized throughout the execution of this project.
As a leader in innovation, Tampa International Airport announced in 2014 an agreement with the Tampa Electric Company (TECO) that would bring a new energy source to the Airport and surrounding community: a 2-megawatt Solar Panel array that produces enough electricity to power up to 200 homes annually. This initiative created covered parking spaces by way of canopy without losing any parking capacity. The project was completed in 2016 and currently proves to be a large part of TPA’s overall sustainability mission. An annual yield of around 3,000 megawatt-hours of energy has been produced from this solar field since it’s completion.
Through the implementation of electronic contract management and electronic signature initiatives, TPA has saved 13,068 lbs. of wood, 38,478 gallons of water, 30,674 lbs. of carbon dioxide and 2,124 lbs. of waste. With these digital environmental initiatives TPA has continued to gain efficiencies and lessen the Airport’s overall environmental impact.
TPA’s quest for sustainability has required extra effort by its Planning & Development and Maintenance teams, but the rewards will be enjoyed by generations to come. Through the implementation of the CUP, car charging stations, solar power, reclaimed water and digital initiatives, Tampa International Airport’s efforts have collectively impacted not only the Airport and environment positively, but also the surrounding Tampa Bay community.