The Philadelphia Navy Yard Microgrid to become Global Microgrid Center

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The Philadelphia Navy Yard microgrid will act as a global demonstration center for microgrid excellence under an agreement signed by Alstom and Pennsylvania State University.

Alstom says that the global microgrid center will be a first-of its kind and will help advance the development of microgrid technologies, using the Navy Yard as a testing ground.

The Navy Yard microgrid is being developed at a former naval shipyard that now acts as a 1,200-acre business campus with more than 145 companies covering seven million square feet. At full build out, the the Navy Yard is expected to span 13.5 million square feet, serve 30,000 people, and encompass $3 billion in private investment.

Learn more about the Navy Yard microgrid here.

“The energy industry is going through a major transformation and there is a significant need and opportunity to improve grid resiliency, security, reliability and efficiency while seamlessly incorporating renewable energy resources,” said Michael Atkinson, president of Alstom Grid North America. “Microgrids will play a key role in the modernization of the energy grid and The Navy Yard project will help advance this technology platform in the future.”

Alstom is designing the Navy Yard microgrid with the help of a $1.2 million grant awarded by the Department of Energy last year.

The grid-connected microgrid will provide a range of services to the Navy Yard and larger grid: islanding, synchronization and reconnection, protection, voltage, frequency, power quality management and dispatch and system resiliency.

Neil Sharkey, Penn State’s vice president for research, said that the agreement places the university and its partners at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to develop technologies that will improve energy efficiency.

Others working on the Navy Yard project include PIDC, the Navy Yard’s master developer and Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation; the DOE, PECO, PJM, Burns Engineering and the Philadelphia Water Department.

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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.


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