Solar, Wind Power

Hydrogen, Solar, Wind at Airport of the Future

Fuel independence is the goal at the Greater Rockford Airport Authority. The Illinois Coalition received a $53,559 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to build a hydrogen-fuel cell combined heat and power plant at the Northwest Chicagoland Regional Airport. What makes the project stand out a bit from other fuel cell projects is the coalition would like the plant to be powered by solar and wind technologies.

“The airport of the future will be clean, efficient and fuel independent,” said Rockford Airport Director Bob O’Brien. “I’m excited that we’ll be the first airport in the world to demonstrate that renewable solar and wind energies can be successfully integrated into the transportation sector.” Potential contractors and developers interested in qualifying for work on the project should be able to handle the job from initial planning to ongoing operational management, according to information on the coalition’s Web site. The goal of the project is to demonstrate the viability of using renewably produced hydrogen in an airport environment. All applicants must include in their final project design the use of small to medium scale wind and solar to produce hydrogen via electrolysis. Hydrogen produced at the plant should be able to fuel airport vehicles as well as to provide stationary heat and power to the fire station being developed on the airport. In-kind grant matching contributions were supplied by Illinois Institute of Technology, Aerotecture, Rock Valley College, and the global law firm Latham and Watkins. See the link below for more information on project applications.