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Ameresco says CHP-energy storage-microgrid project will save $175M for Naval shipyard

The U.S. Navy is tasking power infrastructure firm Ameresco with improving the long-term energy resiliency at its Portsmouth Shipyard in Maine.

The $58 million project will deploy on-site generation, battery storage and microgrid controls to improve energy options and increase savings at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The Energy Savings Performance Contract will not require the Navy to contribute upfront funding during the implementation phase.

Ameresco will expand on Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s existing 14-MW power plant by installing a new 7.5-MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant. The microgrid system will be enhanced intelligent controls and fast-load shed capability.

“By extending our partnership with PNSY to increase on-site generation, deploy energy storage, and integrate a broad range of generation assets into a fully independent microgrid, we will ensure that the Shipyard is able to continue providing high-quality service to Navy’s fleet,” Nicole Bulgarino, executive vice president and general manager of Federal Solutions at Ameresco, said in a statement. “This project builds on our decades-long partnership with PNSY to assure the Shipyard’s vital national security mission, even in the event of a prolonged loss of utility.”

The new CHP plan will provide resiliency for the Portsmouth Naval site’s steam needs, particularly during severe weather typical of the region. Ameresco will also deploy a 1-MW/2-MWh battery energy storage system while also upgrading the shipyard’s electrical distribution system.

Another component of the project involves the installation of a new 800-HP steam-turbine driven air compressor that will serve the shipyard’s extensive industrial compressed air loads utilizing “free” cogenerated steam as opposed to grid purchased electricity.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2022. Ameresco will operate the systems through 2044.

The company anticipates that the energy savings will total more than $175 million over the 22-year period through the end of the contract.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is one of only four such facilities remaining in the U.S. It covers 297 acres including the main base and family housing off base in Kittery, Maine.

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(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. POWERGEN 2020 will feature content on energy storage, microgrids and on-site power. Click here to see the POWERGEN call for abstracts).