A Major Cogeneration System Goes in at JFK International Airport

Low-visibility Privatization in a High-impact Environment

  • Jack Leibler, Esq The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey New York , NY
  • Ray Luxton Kennedy International Airport Cogeneration Partners Jamaica, NY
  • Paul Ostberg CEA Kennedy Operators, Inc . Jamaica, NY
Keywords: Cogeneration


This article describes the first major privatization effort to be completed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The airport owner and operator, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, decided to seek private sector involvement in a capital-intensive project to expand and upgrade the airport's heating and air conditioning facilities and construct a new cogeneration plant. Kennedy International Airport Cogeneration (KIAC) Partners, a partnership between Gas Energy Incorporated of New York and Community Energy Alternatives of New Jersey, was selected to develop an energy center to supply electricity and hot and chilled water to meet the airport's growing energy demand.

Construction of a 110 MW cogeneration plant, 7,000 tons of chilled water equipment, and 30,000 feet of hot water delivery piping started immediately. JFK Airport's critical international position called for this substantial project to be developed almost invisibly; no interruption in heating and air conditioning service and no interference in the airport's active operations could be tolerated. Commercial operation was achieved in February 1995.

A new "energy center" includes two energy efficient aeroderivative gas turbines with inlet air cooling, two heat recovery steam generators, a steam turbine, steam absorption chillers, and a real time economic optimization routine. Airport growth includes a new 600,000-square-foot terminal building and a light rail system to be in service by the year 2001.


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