Airport authority to construct $10.4M geothermal cooling system

In a move expected to save the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority more than $430,000 annually on utility payments, the entity today broke ground on what it is billing as the largest geothermal lake plate cooling system in North America.  

Carrying a price tag of about $10.4 million, the sustainability project is expected to be completed in summer 2016, according to a release. The system will be located at the former 43-acre Hoover rock quarry east of Donelson Pike and Nashville International Airport (BNA).

Energy Systems Group, Smith Seckman Reid and Garver collaborated to design and engineer the system. Blakley Construction Services will utilize a design-build contracting method to construct it.

“This is a remarkable project for its scope, ingenuity and efficiency,” Rob Wigington (pictured), MNAA president and CEO, said in the release. “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. This historic project will significantly reduce our electricity usage and potable water consumption, which will result in substantial annual utility savings. This is the very essence of sustainability.”

The system is expected to reduce electricity usage by 6,000 kilowatts of peak demand and result in annual savings of 1.3 million kilowatt-hours and 30 million gallons of potable water.  

Once finished, the system will take advantage of the cool temperature by circulating water through geothermal heat exchangers submerged in the quarry to the airport terminal’s central plant, providing cooling for the entire terminal. In addition to the geothermal system, the project will also allow for the use of the quarry water for landscape irrigation.

Oct 21, 2015 2:41 PM

Massive cooling system slated for airport

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority announced today it will break ground Wednesday on what it is billing as the largest geothermal lake plate cooling system in North America.

To be located at the edge of the Nashville International Airport site the system will see water circulated through geothermal heat exchangers submerged in an adjacent quarry and to the airport terminal’s central plant, according to a release. This will provide cooling for the entire terminal at “substantial cost savings,” the release notes.

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Airport tops 11 million passengers in ’14

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority announced today that more than 11 million passengers were served at the Nashville International Airport in 2014.

In 2014, approximately 11,039,634 passengers traveled into and out of BNA, a 6.6 percent increase compared to the figure of the previous year.

This marks the first time during its 77-year history the airport has surpassed the 11 million passenger mark, according to a release.

“Nashville International Airport continues to ascend at a record-setting pace, reaching new heights each day, month and year,” MNAA President and CEO Rob Wigington said in the release. “This underscores Nashville’s thriving economy and vibrant tourism market making Music City the destination of choice for so many. We look forward to carrying this momentum into the new year and are excited to help Nashville and Middle Tennessee continue to soar.”

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BNA passenger count climbs 6%

More than 10.6 million people flew into and out of Nashville International Airport during the facility's fiscal 2014, which ended June 30. That was up 6 percent from the mark of fiscal 2013. Here's the official release.

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