Looking at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard today, it’s hard to imagine the dynamic 1,200-acre mixed-use campus as the country’s first naval shipyard – a place where historic ships were once built and some of the Navy’s most significant technological advances achieved.
But when shifting requirements brought closure of nearly all naval activities at the site in the 1990s, Philadelphia leaders saw an opportunity to turn the shipyard property into a redevelopment showpiece to attract business and jobs.
And they’ve done that. Today The Navy Yard is home to more than 11,000 employees and 145 companies in the office, industrial/manufacturing, and research and development sectors. It is also a testament to energy innovation in keeping with Mayor Michael Nutter’s vision of Philadelphia as America’s greenest city.
Council member Alstom Grid has played a key role in that vision. The most recent example: In June 2015 Alstom and Penn State launched a Microgrid Center of Excellence. The first-of-its-kind facility will help advance the development of microgrid technologies as part of The Navy Yard’s grid modernization project. The campus will be able to operate independently from the main grid in case of an outage due to extreme weather or other extraordinary events.
Harkening back to its roots, The Navy Yard grid will serve as a testing ground for companies to pilot energy controls and other new technologies in a viable commercial environment.