Ameresco Project Goes Live to Anchor Philadelphia Navy Yard Microgrid

Jan. 30, 2018
A generating plant that will serve as anchor for the Philadelphia Navy Yard microgrid — one of the largest private microgrids in the U.S. — is now in operation.

A generating plant that will serve as anchor for the Philadelphia Navy Yard microgrid — one of the largest private microgrids in the U.S. — is now in operation.

Project developer Ameresco announced completion of the new 6-MW natural gas peaking plant Tuesday, in a ceremony also attended by the PIDC — Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Navy Yard — the City of Philadelphia, U.S. Navy, and Mural Arts Philadelphia.

The plant provides peaking generation, ancillary services, and resiliency and microgrid integration capabilities for the 1,200-acre commercial redevelopment project.

“As a key component of the Navy Yard’s leading-edge microgrid, the plant is capable of providing certain resiliency services and critical support in the event of extended grid outages in addition to shaving the peak load requirements of the microgrid,” said Michael Bakas, Ameresco executive vice president.

The plant’s 6 MW capacity is just the start. Ameresco also announced that it is now expanding the power plant. The expansion is in keeping with the project’s design to allow for ease of growth as the Navy Yard attracts new business.

“Two megawatts of planned incremental capacity will increase the plant capacity to eight megawatts by the end of 2018 providing further ‘hardening’ of this comprehensive, ever expanding microgrid,” Bakas said

The multi-million-dollar peaking plant is expected to run during the Navy Yard’s peak demand periods and when cost runs high for grid energy and capacity.

By generating power during peak times, the project will allow PIDC to meet demand growth for the Navy Yard and its tenants. By participating in the PJM Ancillary Service Market, the project will generate revenues to help offset the cost of the increased capacity.

“This peaking plant allows the Navy Yard to continue to develop, expand, and attract new businesses and jobs to Philadelphia; support our smart energy initiatives; and provide for greater energy security and resiliency as required,” said Prema Katari Gupta, senior vice president, Navy Yard planning, development, and operations at PIDC.

The Navy Yard includes 7.5 million square feet of real estate in a mix of historic buildings and LEED certified new construction. More than $1 billion of public and private funding has been invested in the campus since the military base closed, attracting over 150 companies employing more than 13,500 workers. At full build-out, the Navy Yard will support up 20 million square feet of development, 30,000 people, and over $3 billion of private investment.

Track news about the Navy Yard microgrid. Follow Microgrid Knowledge on Twitter @MicrogridNews.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

Twitter: @ElisaWood

LinkedIn: Elisa Wood

Facebook:  Microgrids

Only through Standardization Can Microgrids Accelerate the Energy Transition

Jan. 18, 2024
Jana Gerber, North America microgrid president at Schneider Electric discusses how standardizing microgrids will accelerate the energy transition.

Erock Cover 2022 11 18 11 29 13

Exploring the Frontier of Utility Value-Added Services

In this special report, which is the result of a survey conducted by Microgrid Knowledge and Enchanted Rock, utility leaders reveal their views on developing microgrids as value...