Enterprise Mobility and Xcel Energy have released the results of a study, co-created with Jacobs, on the future electric power needs of U.S. airports and the industries that contribute to their ecosystems.
Using two airports as examples, the study shows there is a narrowing window of opportunity to build the large-scale infrastructure needed to support electrification of future operational, cargo and passenger needs. With the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) underway across North America and the pace of anticipated growth, time is of the essence to take proactive steps. This study underscores the need for collaboration and partnership across airports, utilities, federal and state regulators, and policy leaders to implement essential upgrades to airports’ power infrastructure.
Why is this important? Airports are major economic drivers, contributing to more than 7% of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2023, according to the Airports Council International North America, and they will continue to drive economic growth as air travel is expected to grow significantly over the next two decades.
Enterprise Mobility, a leading global mobility provider, and Xcel Energy, a national leader in efficient energy, found that by 2050 two example airports in the states Xcel Energy serves could require nearly five times the electric power currently used to be fully electrified. In light of the complexity and planning requirements of large capacity investments for critical infrastructure, the study quantifies the urgency to design and build the grid in due time for growth, stability and resiliency.
“The best path to a sustainable mobility future is one that maintains a long-term perspective and puts the customer at the center of the transition,” Enterprise Mobility Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Dan Wessel said. "This study is helping us keep the customer front and center while making clear that immediate, cross-industry collaboration is needed to accurately assess long-term power needs and develop cost-effective, scalable infrastructure solutions.”
Jacobs, a leading global professional services firm, interpreted input from more than 50 stakeholders — including airlines, utilities, ground transportation, cargo and third-party providers at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and Denver International Airport — to create a comprehensive view of the cross-industry power needs required to meet future electrification targets.