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The cogeneration power plant for the production of electricity and thermal energy meets 90% of the energy needs of the airport “city”. Leonardo da Vinci Airport is a “city” comparable in size to Cagliari: with a total surface area of 1,600 hectares and 250,000 square metres of terminals. Activities carried out on a daily basis at the airport - by passengers, airport operators and visitors - generates a demand for power, which goes from 21 to 26 megawatts.

The new cogeneration plant produces cheaper, less polluting, more sustainable power, but above all has reduced dependence on the electrical grid. The independent and combined heat and power production plant operates with natural gas. It is a high technology integrated system, which in two distinct phases produces electricity and simultaneously generates heatsignificantly reducing, for the same amount of energy produced, emissions into the atmosphere. The new centre has obtained green certificates, energy certificates issued by GSE (Gestore Servizi Energetici - Energy Management Services) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance to cogeneration plants, that is remote heating, the redistribution of thermal energy for civic purposes.

Technical sheet

  • The new cogeneration plant is located in an area of more than 2,000 square metres at the airport near the existing thermal power plant, to the southwest in the direction of the town of Fiumicino.
  • The underground airport services tunnels form a network of electrical and IT connections, and hot water pipes. There are 4,500 metres of service tunnels.
  • On the ground floor, inside the building there are areas for offices, control areas, warehouses and services. In this area there are three cogeneration groups with modular elements, housed in the same number of rooms.
  • Each group is composed of a Rolls-Royce engine with 20 cylinders of 770 cubic dm, fuelled by natural gas (methane), weighing 133 tonnes, delivering 8,526 kW of power.
  • Energy is recovered through three auxiliary boilers (one for each 5 MW thermal engine), which use the heat of the discharged gases that would otherwise be lost. The water enters at 92°C and exits at 130°C, the discharge fumes are emitted by three chimneys. The residue gas, before being emitted into the atmosphere, is chemically treated, and closely monitored in accordance with the law.
  • The plant can be extended with the addition of another cogeneration group in anticipation of the growth in energy consumption of the airport.

Facts and figures

  • 2,000 - Square metres of surface area
  • 25.56 - MW of installed power
  • 3 - Groups of engines
  • 9.3 - kW of power for each Rolls Royce engine
  • 770 - Cubic decimetres of capacity for each engine
  • 4 - Water tanks, each one 26 metres high and 250 cubic metres
  • 1,000 - Tonnes of hot water, the general capacity of the plant
  • 22 million - total investment in EUR