Pittsburgh International Airport in the US has unveiled plans to power the entire facility by its own microgrid by 2021.

The airport said that its microgrid will use on-site natural gas wells and solar panels to generate electricity.

The move will make Pittsburgh International Airport the first US airport to source its power from solar- and natural gas-powered generators.

It is expected to reduce electricity costs for the airport while also boosting reliability and public safety.

This microgrid-generated power will be the main source of power for the entire site, which includes the Hyatt Hotel, airfield and Sunoco.

The airport also noted that it will continue to be connected to the traditional electrical grid in case of emergencies.

Pittsburgh International Airport CEO Christina Cassotis said: “Part of our mission is to be a world leader in aviation innovation and this project is about powering airports into the future.

“This project will bring power resiliency and redundancy to enhance safety and ensure continued operations for the traveling public.”

The power will be partly-generated from around 7,800 solar panels in eight acres of land and onsite natural gas wells.

It is capable of producing around 20MW of electricity, with the airport consuming 14MW during peak demand.

The board of directors at Allegheny County Airport Authority has awarded a 20-year contract to Peoples Natural Gas to build, maintain and operate the microgrid.

Peoples Natural Gas CEO and president Morgan O’Brien said: “The airport is a critical asset for our region that is recreating itself with innovative solutions using the latest in technology and equipment to better serve all of us.”

CNX Resources, IMG Energy Solutions, EIS Solar, PJ Dick and LLI Engineering are the other firms selected to develop the microgrid.

Earlier this month, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Dominion Energy Virginia agreed to study the 100MW solar energy project development at Washington Dulles International Airport.