Navy Chooses Ameresco for $58M Resilience and Microgrid Project at Maine Shipyard

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The US Navy has awarded Ameresco a task order for a $58 million energy resilience project, which includes a microgrid, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY), one of four remaining naval shipyards in the US

The project expands on a long-term partnership between Ameresco and the the Kittery, Maine facility, extending back to Ameresco’s installation of a microgrid controller at the facility in 2015.

Under the agreement announced Wednesday, Ameresco will provide on-site generation, battery storage, and microgrid controls via an energy savings performance contract, which spares the Navy from making an upfront investment. 

The microgrid and other energy improvements are expected to save the Navy $175 million over the 22-year performance term and improve the facility’s  energy security. 

The project includes:

  • A new 7.5 MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which expands upon an existing 14 MW CHP power plant at the site 
  • 1 MW/2 MWh battery energy storage
  • An expanded microgrid with intelligent controls and fast load shed capability
  • Upgrades to the site’s electrical distribution system
  • A new 800 HP steam-turbine driven air compressor 

Ameresco said in the announcement that it expects the new installation to create “an extraordinary level” of redundancy for mission-critical loads.

The microgrid control system will continuously monitor and intelligently dispatch on-site generation assets and imported power. 

The new CHP plant will provide resilience steam supply, which is particularly important during the severe winter weather typical of Maine. The steam-turbine driven air compressor will serve the shipyard’s industrial compressed air loads, using cogenerated steam from the plant as opposed to electricity purchased from the grid. 

All measures are designed to operate in compliance with relevant Department of Defense and Navy cybersecurity requirements.


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Courtesy of Ameresco

Ameresco expects to complete construction in 2022 and will operate and maintain the system until January 2044.

“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,” said Nicole Bulgarino, executive vice president and general manager of federal solutions at Ameresco. “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.”

Headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, Ameresco develops microgrids and provides a range of other energy services, including energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.