Navy Yard Transformed to Energy Innovation Hub

Electrical workers outside of a complex

By Michael Mock, Vice President Industry Development, The Electrical Alliance

Philadelphia, long known as the City of Brotherly Love, is gaining a national reputation as a hub of cutting-edge energy and sustainability because of the research being conducted at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. While no longer an active military base, the Navy Yard is buzzing with some of the most innovative findings on energy efficiency technology in the country.


Group of people with computers sitting arourd a desk


Recently, the Electrical Alliance, along with a number of allied organizations from across the country, began funding a major new initiative at the Navy Yard – developing standards for the construction and maintenance of microgrids and battery storage installations. We see establishing these standards as essential to supporting the rapid growth in the size and complexity of both microgrids and battery systems.

Overall responsibility for research efforts are spearheaded by the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI), whose goal is to “develop, demonstrate and deploy technology systems” that will benefit building owners and occupants with greater comfort and less energy use. Penn State University, a major contributor to CBEI efforts, is leading the development of the microgrid/battery standards initiative.

Penn State, which maintains a small campus at the Navy Yard, has been deeply involved in two recently completed building projects at the Navy Yard – both reflect CBEI’ s goal of conducting research that has practical applications.

The first project transformed a 38,000 square foot former U.S. Navy recreational center, built in 1942, into an energy efficient building The retrofit, known as the Penn State Center for Building Energy Science, demonstrates “how integrated design and construction methods can result in a cost-effective reduction of building energy use by at least 30%.”

The second project, the Penn State Center for Building Energy Education and Innovation, is a new 25,000 square foot project representing “a prototypical commercial building featuring energy efficiency technologies and systems.”

If you are in the area, check out the Navy Yard. It’s easy to find, (look for a 1,200 acre site with lots of ships) and visitors are welcome.

Check out these websites for details:

About The Electrical Alliance
The Electrical Alliance is a cooperative effort between electrical contractors and skilled craftsmen to provide quality products and services to customers and to set the standard for efficiency, productivity, and safety within the electrical industry. It is jointly sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association and Local 26, IBEW. To learn more, visit News & Press or follow the Electrical Alliance on Twitter @dcelec_alliance.