The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA), which owns and operates Nashville International Airport (BNA), recently broke ground on what will be the largest geothermal lake plate cooling system in North America. The former rock quarry located east of BNA’s Runway 2R/20L contains around 1.5 billion gallons of water, which hovers around 50 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
This sustainability project will circulate water through submerged geothermal heat exchangers, then on to the airport terminal’s central plant, which will cool the terminal at a cost significantly less than the current cooling methods.
"This is a remarkable project for its scope, ingenuity and efficiency," said Rob Wigington, president and CEO of MNAA. "The Airport Authority is committed to making sustainability an integral part of our business model. Not because sustainability is easy—rather, it is often a complex process—but because the benefits to our airports, the region and our environment are overwhelmingly positive.”
“The effects of the coordinated efforts between the MNAA, Garver, Blakely Construction Services, Energy Systems Group, and Smith Seckman Reid will save 1.3 million kilowatt-hours, 30 million gallons of potable water, and $430,000 in utility savings each year,” said Garver Vice President Ryan Sisemore. “This is a great example of what a prudential airport authority can accomplish when it commits to addressing its complex jobs with creative solutions.”
Construction on this $10.2 million project is expected to be completed in summer 2016.