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.
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