Ameresco keeps making headlines lately, this time completing construction of a comprehensive energy resiliency and energy infrastructure project at the United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island, South Carolina. The $91 million project, which required no upfront capital from MCRD PI, features resilient distributed energy systems designed to withstand potential storm and seismic conditions.
The Marine Corps depends on Parris Island, the only such training facility on the eastern seaboard, to turn approximately 20,000 recruits into Marines each year to support deployment schedules and maintain its operations. The distributed generation, energy storage, and secure microgrid controls that Ameresco designed and installed there have dramatically enhanced the site’s resilience, giving the installation the capacity to sustain its critical training operations when the local grid goes down. The project also saves the installation $6.9 million in annual utility and operational costs, reduces utility energy demand by 75%, and reduces water consumption by 25%. To achieve these results, Ameresco optimized utility consumption at facilities across the 8,000-acre installation with demand reduction measures.
MCRD PI initiated this energy savings performance contract (ESPC), which leverages private capital through a Department of Energy contract vehicle, in 2015 with the competitive selection of Ameresco. Ameresco then worked with project stakeholders to replace an aging central plant with a 3.5 megawatt (MW) combined heat and power (CHP) plant and three diesel generators for backup generation. Nearly 20,000 solar modules at carport and ground-mount sites provide 5.5 MW of power generation, along with shelter for more than 500 parking spaces for Depot staff and the visiting public. Ameresco also deployed a 4.0MW/8 MWH battery energy storage system (BESS) and an intelligent microgrid controls to assure power supply in the event of utility failures.
“Resiliency at MCRD Parris Island means providing uninterruptible power in support of critical training operations,” said Nicole Bulgarino, Executive Vice President at Ameresco. “Distributed generation systems like the comprehensive solution we have just built there deliver a layered defense against threats to the power supply. Ameresco is proud to partner with the USMC to lead by example and demonstrate how a military installation can both reduce energy and enhance resiliency with this unique contract vehicle.”
Ameresco will maintain responsibility for the operation and maintenance of these new energy assets for the duration of the 22-year performance period.
— Solar Builder magazine