PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Construction is beginning on a new electrical microgrid that will completely power Pittsburgh International Airport by this time next year.

Representatives with the airport say the new, “first-of-its-kind” mircogrid will become its new primary power source. They will remain connected to the traditional power grid though just in case of emergency.

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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.”

Preliminary construction has already started on a new energy plant with five natural gas fired generators.

Airport representatives say they hope building can begin in the fall for a solar facility with nearly 7,800 solar panels.

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Peoples Natural Gas is building and will maintain both facilities, which will produce 20 megawatts of electricity from the natural gas generators and three megawatts from the solar panels.

That’s enough to power more than 13,000 homes, airport representatives say.

The airport says the new grid will fully power the airport – including the landside and airside terminals, the hangers and maintenance facilities, the airfield, the Hyatt Hotel at the airport and the Sunoco gas station.

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They hope to have construction fully complete by summer of 2021.