The American Council of Engineering Companies Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) recently awarded Philadelphia Navy Yard with a Diamond Award in recognition of its Power Capacity Enhancements project.The competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value, and innovation. Winners were recognized on Feb. 27 at the 2020 ACEC/PA Diamond Awards for Engineering Excellence.
The Navy Yard’s largest tenant, the US Navy, needed a 15 MW power capacity increase for a project that was to be completed in 18 months. The traditional utility approach entailed constructing a 6-mile power supply that would require four years, disruptive construction and $45 million. The traditional approach would not allow the US Navy to begin production, and jeopardized high-skilled jobs and the entire operation in Philadelphia.
Prime engineer, Burns Engineering, with the utility operator, DTE Energy Philadelphia, developed a groundbreaking method to bring the extra power supply to the site. Subconsultants for the project include David Mason & Associates, Pennoni, MCFA Global, and Converse Winkler Architecture, LLC.The solution was a “Utility of the Future” model, deploying a hybrid of both utility supply and self-generation. Burns Engineering’s approach utilized fast track and P3 project delivery, smart infrastructure, load profile shaping, leveraging existing electrical infrastructure, alignment of stakeholders, and creative underground utility distribution.
The power capacity was on-line within the 18-month window, allowing the US Navy to be production-ready. Despite many challenges, the approach minimized environmental impact and disruption to tenants. It provides additional resilience and revenue stream benefits. This multi-benefit approach is an ideal model to replicate in the future for similar electrical infrastructure improvements.
This is the Navy Yard’s second award from ACEC/PA to date as the Grid Modernization Program at the Navy Yard was selected as the recipient of a 2017 Diamond Honor Award in the energy category. Burns Engineering was also the primary engineer for this project.
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