Conde Nast Names PIT Among World’s Best in Travel

Only 2 airports make list; publication notes Pittsburgh’s unique microgrid

By Bob Kerlik

Published September 12, 2022

Read Time: < 1 min


Pittsburgh International Airport’s microgrid continues to turn heads around the world.

Last week, Conde Nast Traveler named PIT to its first-ever “Bright Ideas in Travel” list, calling out the microgrid which just marked its one-year anniversary.

The renowned magazine dedicated an entire issue “to innovation and invention in the world of travel from destinations and airports to international hotel brands and forward-thinking nonprofits––who are pushing travel forward for our audience.”

Honorees were selected by a global network of editors, and PIT was one of only two airports chosen, along with Istanbul, among nearly five dozen companies and other entities in the travel industry.

PIT unveiled its microgrid in July 2021, becoming the first major airport to be powered entirely on its own using natural gas and solar energy, and the system has been delivering benefits ever since.

Carbon dioxide emissions have been cut by about 8.2 million pounds in the first year of operation and the airport has saved about $1 million in utility costs.

And because the microgrid’s nearly 10,000 solar panels and five natural gas-fired generators operate independently of the traditional grid, it gives the airport greater protection from outages and cyberattacks.

The microgrid has gotten its share of attention. Forbes magazine called PIT’s microgrid “tough to duplicate,” and it has been recognized with the Innovation Award from Airports Council International and Fast Company Magazine’s World Changing Idea award.

Paul Hoback, Chief Development Officer at PIT, also spoke about the microgrid when he remotely testified before the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation at a hearing earlier this year focused on addressing climate change at airports.

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