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Philadelphia Navy Yard to get solar storage

Energy Innovation Hub to include solar-energy storage unit, micro smart-grid for net-zero home.

The Philadelphia Navy Yard is home to the GPIC Energy Innovation Hub. GPIC

Philadelphia's revitalization project of its Navy Yard and surrounding waterfront property will also include solar storage, according to International Battery.

The Allentown, Penn.-based battery manufacturer says its large format lithium ion energy storage system (ESS) will be used on a 2,700 square-foot building as part of the Philadelphia Energy Innovation Hub.

"The Energy Innovation Hub will include a live demonstration of a microgrid with a 2,700 square foot net-zero energy home. International Battery will provide Sunverge with an 8.2 kilowatt-hour Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack for use in the residential SIS [Solar Integration System]," the company announced Thursday.

The battery pack will be used to store solar energy that can be retrieved for later use in conjunction with the solar system and micro smart grid, also being constructed on site, according to International Battery.

The Philadelphia Energy Innovation Hub, led by Penn State University, is one of three such hubs backed by the U.S. Department of Energy dedicated to the research, development, and commercialization of improved energy technology for new and existing buildings.

Credit: GPIC HUB

The Philadelphia Energy Innovation Hub at the Navy Yard is part of the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC). The GPIC includes 11 academic institutions, two DOE laboratories, and five corporate partners whose members all maintain full-time employees at the Navy Yard facilities, according to Penn State University.

In September 2010 the hub was funded with a $122 million grant from the Department of Energy, a $30 million pledge from the state of Pennsylvania, and $7 million in other sources of federal funding.

The Philadelphia Navy Yard is also home to what will be the largest urban solar farm in the U.S. when complete. The 1.5-megawatt installation when up-and-running in 2011 will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of about 1,800 homes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Philadelphia has been revitalizing the land in and around its historic Navy Shipyard after an environmental cleanup effort in the 1990s, and a master plan was adopted in 2004. The Navy Yard's Energy Innovation Hub is just one part of the major redevelopment. The Navy Yard area now consists of 1,200 acres and seven miles of waterfront containing retail, office, residential, and green space as well as an active ship-building facility.