Ameresco has been contracted by the U.S. Coast Guard to install a solar + storage system at the Coast Guard’s largest west coast training facility, Training Center (TRACEN) Petaluma. This will be the first battery project for the Coast Guard and the largest solar project for the Dept. of Homeland Security.
TRACEN Petaluma faces a range of energy security and resiliency challenges endemic to the climate and regional power infrastructure in northern California. In light of the regularity and severity of weather events and utility interruptions affecting the site, the Coast Guard competitively selected Ameresco in February 2021 to fast-track development of a comprehensive energy savings performance contract to enhance the site’s electric infrastructure and resiliency posture.
The microgrid will integrate existing distributed backup generators with a new 5-MW solar array and an 11.6-MWh energy storage system to power the entire site in the event of a loss of utility. Planned improvements also feature the deployment of new power distribution transformers, smart controls in 10 buildings across campus, LED lighting improvements for over 8,000 fixtures, installation of new electric vehicle charging infrastructure and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment upgrades.
“This contract award enables continuity of operations in an environment of unpredictable climate hazards and will increase Training Center Petaluma’s relevance throughout the region, while sustaining our Coast Guard mission-ready total workforce,” said Capt. Steven Ramassini, commanding officer for the training campus.
“Addressing the evolving needs of the Coast Guard means that we have to look beyond just using traditional direct appropriations. The use of energy performance contracts allows the Coast Guard to address critical infrastructure improvements in a timeframe that would be unachievable with customary methods and provides holistic solutions to complex issues. Leveraging partnerships and finding unique solutions is how the Coast Guard is able to accomplish mission critical improvements with our limited resources,” notes Rear Adm. Carola List, Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics, and the Coast Guard’s chief engineer.
Once completed, Training Center Petaluma will realize a cost savings of more than $1.2 million in the first year alone. The project will also reduce the site’s annual electricity and propane consumption by 8.7 million kWh and 50.8 kgal, respectively.
“We are so honored to lead the design and development of this historic project for the United States Coast Guard,” said Nicole Bulgarino, executive vice president, Ameresco. “The upgrades outlined integrate energy efficiency and clean onsite energy with advanced microgrid controls and significantly enhance the training facility’s energy resiliency. The finished project will set a strong precedent for future Federal renewable generation and battery storage projects.”
Construction on the project is set to begin in October 2021 and reach completion by Fall 2023.