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ORD Adds Travel Plaza

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and developer Petroleum Marketing Group (PMG) have opened the Chicago Travel Plaza on the property of O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The plaza, located on a two-acre site, is home to a fueling station and convenience retail building that includes a 7-Eleven as well as Taco John’s restaurant.

The travel plaza, which earned LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, features water-efficient indoor plumbing fixtures and drought-resistant and regional foliage in the outdoor planters to eliminate the need for irrigation. The solar array atop the fueling canopy contains 150 solar panels that produce more than 50,000 kWh of carbon-free electricity to charge vehicles or operate the facility.

The fueling station also offers more than 60 percent alternative fuels, including E85 and biodiesel, in addition to 16 electric vehicle charging stations. These include 14 Tesla Superchargers and two Level 2 universal charging stations. The Tesla chargers average approximately 3,000 charges per month.

“The Chicago Travel Plaza is a major accomplishment by the CDA and our developer, PMG. It’s one of only a handful of such travel plazas in the nation to be located on airport property and open to the public,” said Jamie Rhee, CDA commissioner. “With its emphasis on renewable energy, alternative fuels and electric vehicle infrastructure, this project underscores the CDA’s commitment to sustainability in airport development while providing convenient new amenities for travelers, staff and local residents.”