Navy Yard to House First Pa. Community Solar Project

The landmark project will provide nearly 1 million kilowatt hours per year of sustainable energy to participating Navy Yard companies.

The Navy Yard | Photo: PIDC

Businesses at the Navy Yard will soon become the first in Pennsylvania to share output from a single community solar installation.

On Tuesday, officials  announced that construction has already begun on a 440-kilowatt rooftop setup, the first of two solar projects that real estate manager Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. plans to complete in the next few years.

Developed by alternative energy development group SolarSense LLC of Berwyn, the project will provide half of one percent of the Navy Yard’s total power needs after the initial installation. The Navy Yard will pay SolarSense for the output of 1,295 photovoltaic panels on the roof of RevZilla’s regional warehouse and fulfillment center. According to Philly.com, the power will feed directly into the Navy Yard’s microgrid.

“The solar project that [the Navy Yard] is taking on fits really nicely and furthers the City of Philadelphia’s Greenworks vision, specifically by producing green energy in Philadelphia and also reducing carbon pollution,” says Office of Sustainability analyst Amanda Warwood in a video announcing the project.

Once the second phase is commissioned and completed, the community project will generate a projected nearly 1,590,000 kilowatt hours a year for Navy Yard companies, bringing the total sustainable energy output for the Navy Yard to just under one percent of the total needs.

Although Navy Yard groups that agree to use the sustainable output will be charged a little bit more on their PIDC energy bills, many companies are excited to get on board with the project. “There’s a lot of green-thinking customers here who don’t really care about the extra cost,” Navy Yard Smart Grid director Rudy Terry told Philly.com.

The Navy Yard Community Solar project is backed by the Reinvestment Fund and the Sustainable Development Fund, with the total cost of both phases projected to fall at around $2 million.

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