Ameresco is Building a Microgrid on Parris Island

Ameresco US Marine Corps

Ameresco to build renewable-powered microgrid for US Marine Corps

Energy Storage, January 13, 2017

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.

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.

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NY State probably doesn’t need to invest as much as people believe in energy storage that’s intended to meet peak demand (catastrophic emergencies are another matter). Around 80% of peak demand is directly correlated with very hot or cold weather. There are already existing, commercially available ADR solutions that can easily slash peak demand by 40-60% 24/7/365 (without advance notice) far cheaper than energy storage and have minimal to no impact on occupant comfort and none on equipment life. If your DR provider doesn’t offer it, then it’s because it’s still using primitive DR approaches that are ineffective, inefficient, and obsolete. Despite what Elon Musk says, the storage cost per kW/kWh/Btu basis to meet peak demand events is almost invariably far too costly – at least in countries that use substantial amounts of space heating/cooling and refrigeration.

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