U.S. Navy adds cleantech energy project at Norfolk Naval Shipyard - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Storage, Microgrids, CHP  -  February 8, 2021

U.S. Navy adds cleantech energy project at Norfolk Naval Shipyard

The U.S. Navy announced on Feb. 5 that it is installing a cleantech project to expand on-site generation, strengthen reliability and enhance resiliency at its Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia. 

According to a statement, Navy signed a $173 million energy savings performance contract with its longtime development partner Ameresco. The agreement leverages the guaranteed savings the project will generate to secure third-party financing so the Navy will not need to contribute up-front funding during the project’s implementation. Over the course of the 22-year performance period following construction (expected to complete in 2022), the project will generate more than $411 million in guaranteed cost savings.

The 19-MW combined heat and power plant will include a 3-MW battery energy storage system while a microgrid control system will provide the site with long-term energy security and reduce the electricity imported from the grid by 68%. As part of this modernization effort, Ameresco will refurbish existing backup power assets, integrate them into the microgrid, and upgrade the electric distribution system to provide redundant sources of supply.

This project also features a new industrial wastewater treatment plant, a critical element of shipyard infrastructure that Ameresco has already begun to build. The effective treatment of contaminated wastewater that the site’s ship repair activities produce is critical to the shipyard’s mission of ensuring that ships can return to service on schedule. Tasked by the Navy with assessing potential industrial process improvements, Ameresco developed a solution that produces enough savings from recycling water within the plant, enclosing exposed system components, and reducing operating costs to pay for the complete replacement of the site’s 40-year-old plant.

The shipyard serves as the Navy’s main East Coast repair, overhaul and modernization facility. It is one of Naval Sea Systems Command's four public shipyards that play a major role in maintaining America's fleet and providing a wartime surge capability to keep the nation's ships ready for combat.

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