Genève Aéroport commits to sustainability with innovative heating source

Posted: 17 December 2019 | | No comments yet

With this creative solution, Genève Aéroport will be able to stop consuming two million litres of oil per year and reduce its impact on its surroundings.

Geneve Airport

Beginning in 2025, Genève Aéroport will cool and heat its buildings with water from Lake Geneva. This innovative scheme is a result of Genève Aéroport signing a deal regarding its connection to the eco-friendly thermal network, GeniLac, provided by Services Industriels de Genève (SIG).

Marking the airport’s commitment to abandoning the use of fossil fuels to heat and cool all airport buildings by 2025, the partnership will enable Genève Aéroport to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and help the Canton in working towards the energy transition.

Genève Aéroport has committed to fuelling all its infrastructure with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025. “By connecting to GeniLac, this goal becomes a reality,” explained André Schneider, CEO of the airport.

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

Genève Aéroport is committed to being fuelled by SIG’s eco-friendly thermal network for the next 30 years. The airport will invest some 80 million CHF in networks and thermal power stations to support GeniLac, and from 2023, it will progressively be able to heat and cool its buildings using a sustainable and renewable source: Lake water.

Water from Lake Geneva will be tapped at a depth of 45m at an average temperature of seven degrees Celsius. Transported by underground pipes to connected buildings, the water will cool buildings in summer. In winter, heat pumps are added, enabling the system to produce heating.

In replacing the boilers as well as the air conditioning units, over time GeniLac will lower CO2 emissions in the canton by 70,000 tonnes per year. The network should reach 30km and will expand from the left bank to the right bank up to the Étang district in Meyrin.

“Genève Aéroport expressed an interest in us, which was essential as it enabled us to develop the GeniLac project in the airport area. Numerous buildings will therefore be able to make the switch from highly polluting fossil fuels. This eco-friendly thermal network is a major asset in the energy transition,” explained Christian Brunier, Director General of SIG.

To implement this solution, Genève Aéroport will start to build a thermal power station in summer 2020. The 24 million CHF investment required for this was approved by the Board of Directors. Extending over 1,900m2, the station will house high-performing heat pumps to heat the airport infrastructure and that of its partners. Surplus heat produced by Genève Aéroport’s heat pumps will be reinjected back into the SIG network. For this reason, a contract to buy back the energy was also signed by the two parties.

By connecting to GeniLac, Genève Aéroport will be able to stop using its fuel heating system which currently consumes two million litres of oil a year and dates back to the 1970s. The airport will thereby reduce its CO2 emissions by 5,300 tonnes a year.

The Canton of Geneva is delighted by the partnership between Genève Aéroport and SIG. “Connecting the airport to GeniLac is an additional step towards an even more active sustainable development policy. It will help reduce the Canton’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said Serge Dal Busco, State Councillor in charge of the Department of Infrastructure.

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