The decision to marry solar energy and natural gas to power the Pittsburgh Internationl Airport with a self-contained “microgrid” is the rarest kind of union: one where the partners together create something bigger than the sum of the individuals.

Too often, natural gas and renewable energy like solar are presented as an either-or choice. The Allegheny County Airport Authority’s groundbreaking move to make its international airport the first in the country to be powered entirely by a microgrid — an independent energy source that operates on its own, without external power like the kind that supplies our homes — is proof that they’re better together.

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