The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. on Tuesday announced the launch of a 440-kilowatt rooftop solar installation that will provide power to several Navy Yard tenants, making it the state's first community solar project.
Construction of the Navy Yard Community Solar's 1,295 photovoltaic panels is already underway on the rooftop of RevZilla.com's East Coast warehouse and fulfillment center. The project is expected to produce about 930,000 kilowatt hours a year, about one-half of 1 percent of the Navy Yard's total power.
The project was conceived of and financed in part by Reinvestment Fund and the Sustainable Development Fund, which are providing a low-interest loan and grant to the project's developer, SolarSense L.L.C. of Berwyn, Pa. SolarSense will own the project and sell the output to the Navy Yard.
The solar power will be fed directly into the Navy Yard's microgrid, and distributed to multiple customers, a concept known as community solar. PIDC will bill its solar customers a slightly higher rate for the renewable energy, said Rudy Terry, director of the Navy Yard Smart Grid. "There's a lot of green-thinking customers here who don't really care about the extra cost," he said.
PIDC plans to add a second Navy Yard solar project that would be commissioned next year to generate an additional 310 kilowatts. The total cost of the two phases is about $2 million, said Jennifer Tran, a PIDC spokeswoman.