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Ameresco to build renewable-powered microgrid for US Marine Corps

Ameresco to build renewable-powered microgrid for US Marine Corps

Credit: DoD/Pfc. John-Paul Imbody.

Ameresco will build a renewable-powered microgrid at a Marine Corp facility in Parris Island, South Carolina.

The project at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) includes 6.7MW of PV generation, a 3.5MW combined heat and power facility and a 8MWh battery storage system.

A US$91.1 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) has been put in place to fund Ameresco’s engineering, construction and operation works. The ESPC uses the electricity bill savings delivered by the system to pay down its cost. This is essentially cost-neutral for the client.

“This project will provide MCRD a reliable source of heat and power combined with advanced controls and energy storage technology to allow the site to operate in island-mode during a loss of utility connection ensuring operation of mission-critical systems,” said Nicole A. Bulgarino, senior vice president and general manager, federal solutions, Ameresco. “Overall, the project will revitalize Parris Island’s existing energy infrastructure.”

According to Ameresco the microgrid control system will monitor and coordinate the dispatch of the energy assets. Emergency diesel generators will also be used in response to site electrical loads. The microgrid control system will monitor the health of the utility connection and, when a utility disturbance is sensed, safely disconnect the site while matching load to available onsite generation through fast load shedding.

It will also maximise savings and lengthen the system’s lifespan by optimising the operations and maintenance of the microgrid across the 121 buildings on the site.

Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2017 with completion timed for Summer 2019.

The US military has been an active player in energy storage technologies with a track record of trials, testing and deployment at a variety of scales.