Ameresco partners with GE to deliver microgrid system to U.S. Navy

solar power microgrid elp

Ameresco, an energy efficiency and renewable energy company, said its Federal Solutions Group successfully demonstrated GE’s microgrid control system at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) in Kittery, Maine. The team conducted two live tests simulating a base-wide commercial grid outage during which the microgrid shed nonessential loads and powered mission-critical systems.

Ameresco designed and delivered the microgrid with funding from a Department of Defense Environmental Security Technology Certification Program grant. It was designed to integrate several innovative technologies to: provide cost-effective solutions for military energy security; enhance reliability of electric service to the base; provide ancillary services to the electric grid independent system operator; and generate a potential new revenue stream for the government.

The Microgrid Control Systems and a 500 kW/580 kWh battery energy storage system were integrated with on-site power generation, including a 10 MW combined heat and power plant and 4 MW of emergency back-up generation.

The control system furnished by GE’s Grid Solutions business, including new metering and a "fast load shed" system, makes it possible for the MCS to intelligently select the loads to shed to balance with available distributed generation on-site.

Jayant Kumar, Global Smart Grid Program Director at GE’s Grid Solutions said, “GE’s Microgrid Solution will empower the U.S. Navy to achieve its energy surety goals by being able to continue operating their facilities in an uninterrupted manner in the event of a grid outage. This successful live test clearly demonstrates that this capability is achievable and we look forward to continue to support the Department of Defense in achieving these goals.”

“Ameresco is excited the microgrid functioned as designed and the tests at PSNY were highly successful,” said Nicole Bulgarino, Senior Vice President, Federal Solutions, Ameresco. “Given the success of this initiative, the potential for broad application of this system across U.S. Government installations and other organizations is very promising particularly at a time when resiliency has become a key concern.”

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is one of four remaining naval shipyards in the nation. Centrally located about 50 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine and Manchester, New Hampshire, at the southernmost tip of Maine, the shipyard fully encompasses Seavey Island that sits at the mouth of the Piscataqua River.

This federally-owned island is across the harbor from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with access to the mainland by two bridges that connect to Kittery, Maine. PNSY encompasses over 297 acres including the main base and a family housing site off base in Kittery, Maine.

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