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Michael Kennedy Dedicates Battery Storage Project at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

Citizens Energy Vice President Michael Kennedy today flipped the switch on a 6.4-megawatt Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to provide power cost savings to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and beyond through green energy technology.

The nephew of Citizens Energy Chairman, and former Massachusetts Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, was joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and PIDC leadership in dedicating the innovative project at the Navy Yard. The 1,200-acre former military base has been redeveloped into a thriving mixed-use campus led by PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the historic shipyard.

“Everyone at Citizens Energy is proud to be helping Philadelphia transition to a greener future with Battery Storage Technology,” said Kennedy, who heads up new business development for the Boston-based nonprofit. “This system will be the largest of its kind in the city, and allow the Philadelphia Navy Yard to make better use of renewable energy as well as save money for local business and residents.”

The 2,240-lithium ion battery system housed in the industrial portion of the campus will provide a cheaper source of energy for the business tenants of the Navy Yard through peak shaving technology when the demand and cost of power is highest throughout the day. At times when the price of energy is stable locally, the BESS will participate in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) Interconnection’s frequency regulation market to regulate power on the regional grid.

“Completion of this project by Citizens Energy and PIDC is a great achievement for our City and the Navy Yard,” stated Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Philadelphia continues to be innovative by introducing new systems like this battery energy storage system which not only improves the quality of life for residents and businesses, but uses energy more efficiently, reduces our carbon footprint, and helps Philadelphia reach our clean energy vision goals.”

“PIDC is thrilled to partner with Citizens Energy to bring this battery storage to the Navy Yard,” said Kate McNamara, PIDC’s Senior Vice President, Navy Yard. “Not only does this battery energy storage system provide a reliable, cost-effective, innovative solution for ongoing energy requirements, but it is a great foundation to support significant future job growth as businesses continue to locate and grow within Philadelphia and at the Navy Yard.”

“We have an enormous responsibility to our community and to our planet to not only make clean choices, but to ensure those choices are available to everyone,” said former Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II, who founded Citizens Energy Corporation over 40 years ago to make life’s basic needs more affordable. “This project not only reduces the cost of electricity for the Navy Yard, but also plays a key role in our fight against climate change.”

The 14.8-megwatt hour system represents a cutting-edge partnership between nonprofits that will usher in a new era of energy infrastructure at the landmark site. Battery storage technology is imperative to ensuring the success of the renewable energy revolution because it has the capacity to make green power available for future use. Facilities connected to battery storage technology will have uninterrupted use of power during major local outages and facilitate resilient buildings and microgrids.

Built next door to a retired steam plant, the Navy Yard BESS is the latest project to join an array of Navy Yard innovative and sustainable technologies and drives Philadelphia towards a cleaner and greener future. The BESS also joins the ranks of industrial and shipbuilding companies, cell and gene therapy production facilities, and global businesses at the historic campus, all powered by one of the East Coast’s largest unregulated electric grids.

This is Citizens Energy’s second completed BESS, having just unveiled its first in Western Massachusetts. The Boston-based nonprofit will soon complete several microgrid projects in other parts of New England and currently has over 40 solar projects in its national portfolio.

Ensemble/Mosaic Launches a Bold, Systemic $2.6B Environmental, Social & Governance Commitment at the Navy Yard

Partnership has Committed $7.5 Million to 21 Certified Minority and Women, Design & Engineering Firms to Lift Off $1B Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Pledge

Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners (Ensemble/Mosaic) today announced it has launched its ambitious Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) program at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the bedrock of its plan to develop 109 acres of the campus.

“We believe our $2.6B ESG initiative to be one of the most significant commitments by any developer for any development in our country,” said Kam Babaoff, Co-Founder and Chairman of Ensemble Real Estate Solutions & Investments. “And, as part of this ambitious plan, we are committing $1B to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives – again, likely the largest pledge ever in our industry. Dedication to ESG, and specifically the DEI principals within it, will drive lasting positive change in this city because it will be built by Philadelphians for Philadelphians.”

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Navy Yard, and Ensemble/Mosaic are partnering on the 2022 Philadelphia Navy Yard Plan Update. Ensemble/Mosaic will invest the $2.6 billion of development in the 1200-acre campus over the next two decades. The venture anticipates breaking ground on its first buildings – among them 1201 Normandy Place – in the fourth quarter of 2021.

A cornerstone of this ESG program is the partnership’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy.

“PIDC set the tone for DEI in their request for proposal, and we felt inspired to create a plan with great scope and depth,” said Leslie Smallwood-Lewis, Principal of Mosaic, a minority-owned business enterprise. “Our DEI commitment will provide meaningful equity and capacity-building contracting opportunities for minority, women, veteran and disabled-owned business enterprises (MWVDBE) over the next two decades and we are excited to help create lasting change.”

Ensemble/Mosaic began deploying this strategy in the initial phase of development through the hiring of 20 local and national MWVDBE design and engineering firms such as Moody Nolan – the largest African American architecture firm in the nation and the “2021 AIA Firm of the Year”, Kelly Maiello and Rodriguez Consulting. Those commitments, representing approximately 50% ($7.5M) of the total allocation for design, have been made since the partnership was awarded the development rights by PIDC less than four months ago.

ESG Criteria as the North Star

ESG is a set of criteria created by an organization to guide socially responsible decisions. It includes environmental sustainability, such as impact on climate change or carbon footprint, recycling and water management; social impact through diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and organizational values; and governance, including partnership diversity, the auditing of DEI initiatives and  representation on boards and committees.

“From the moment we committed to answering the request for proposal from PIDC, ESG has been our north star,” said Greg Reaves, Principal of Mosaic. “Every decision we make, from design to development to neighborhood creation is through the lens of our ESG strategy.”

After the naval base closure in 1996, the City of Philadelphia, PIDC and its partners envisioned the redevelopment of the space into a thriving mixed-use campus, restoring it as an economic engine for the city. Over the last two decades, the Navy Yard has successfully attracted 150 businesses employing more than 15,000 personnel to the site with new development planned to further its position as one of Philadelphia’s most unique business campuses and evolving neighborhoods.

Through its development agreement with PIDC, Ensemble/Mosaic will redevelop 109 acres  of land through renovation and ground-up construction. The 20-year project includes the creation of additional office, laboratories and clean spaces, retail, restaurants and hotels, and residential buildings, parks, greenways and amenities.

“The Navy Yard has reestablished itself as a successful platform for job creation with a focus on innovation, production, and sustainability, and I commend PIDC and Ensemble/Mosaic on their shared vision and alignment of goals, which will further spur equitable growth in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “This unparalleled commitment to ESG sets the new standard for socially responsible, inclusive development in Philadelphia while providing countless benefits for Philadelphians for years to come.”

Bringing Meaningful, Measurable Change

Ensemble and Mosaic formed a partnership with the objective of focusing on redeveloping the Navy Yard by creating opportunities for diverse participants in every aspect of development.

To illustrate, Babaoff and Reaves broke down some of the many ESG-focused programs in motion or development, with a particular focus on DEI, such as:

  • Minority, Women, Veteran and Disabled-Owned Businesses Enterprises will equitably participate in every phase of the development cycle (design, construction and operations) at some of the highest levels ever achieved for a project of this size and scale. (See chart)
  • Minority Equity Investment ensures up-to-20% of the equity investment will be provided by minorities and minority-owned firms.
  • A Community Investment Platform will offer the opportunity for local low-and-moderate-income individuals to invest, through crowdfunding, collectively up to 5% of the equity in each project.
  • A Charitable Foundation, initially funded by a $1M commitment by Ensemble/Mosaic with continued funding from a percentage of the project’s net cash flow, will actively support and promote the development and economic empowerment of minorities and women.
  • An ongoing commitment to providing Housing Affordability for 15% of all residential units.
  • A minimum of a 35% Diverse Workforce during the construction of buildings with minority, female, veteran and disabled workforce.
  • A commitment to a minimum of 50% Local Workforce during construction from the Greater Philadelphia region.
  • MWVDBE Retail Opportunities by providing a minimum of 25% of all retail to firms with subsidized lease terms.
  • Internship program with local universities will bring opportunities to minority and female students in the Delaware Valley.

“The Navy Yard continues to be an economic engine for our region, and we are now focused on creating even more meaningful change. Ensemble/Mosaic is dedicating tremendous energy, time and financial commitment with its investment directed toward minority, women, disabled and veteran-owned companies,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, who represents the Navy Yard within the Second District. “This $1B pledge and each individual commitment will make an enormous difference to companies and individuals over the next 20 years.”

Pushing the Boundaries of Sustainability

“There is a long history of leadership around sustainability at the Philadelphia Navy Yard – from pilot programs for stormwater and autonomous shuttles to an 8MW peak-shaving battery back-up and Pennsylvania’s first community solar project, just to name a few,” said Kate McNamara, PIDC’s Senior Vice President, Navy Yard. “The campus already contains more than a dozen LEED certified buildings ranging from Certified to Double Platinum, and Ensemble/Mosaic’s commitment to sustainable development and management will continue to set the pace in our region and across the nation.”

Each Ensemble/Mosaic development project will be designed to achieve a LEED Silver or higher standard, demonstrably saving energy, water and other natural resources for the city and its residents. To carry these goals further, Ensemble/Mosaic has assembled a team of progressive design leaders, placemaking idea generators, and transportation futurists to create Philadelphia’s first LEED Certified Neighborhood Development at the Navy Yard.

LEED Neighborhood (LEED-ND) Development is a program engineered to inspire and help create better, more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods, looking beyond the scale of buildings to consider entire communities. The Navy Yard will be one of the first of its kind designed with this new approach.

“One of the first things that really struck us as we went through the selection process for a development partner was Ensemble/Mosaic’s shared passion for the creation of an intentional and inclusive economic opportunity initiatives plan,” added McNamara. “We are excited that Ensemble/Mosaic quickly launched this plan concurrent with its development projects. This fresh approach will support the Navy Yard’s growth and positively impact generations of Philadelphia residents and businesses.”

 

Appendix 1: List of 21 MWVDBE Firms (alphabetized)

These firms are currently participating and are included in the $7.5M commitments in process.

 

Appendix 2: MWBE Representation Chart

Indego Bike Share Announces Expansion to South Philadelphia

Indego bike share program announced today that it will grow this summer, adding at least eight more stations to the system. Early summer expansion will include station and bike availability at the Navy Yard with connections at AT&T Station and FDR Park. Additional stations will be installed throughout the summer to provide more dock and bike availability in high ridership areas.  Read more

Navy Yard Spring Cleaning

Dating back to the 1800s, the biggest annual housecleaning took place in the spring after winters left homes coated with layers of soot and grime. Lamps lit with whale oil or kerosene, heated with coal and wood, left behind unimaginable messes. A proper cleaning required open windows to air out the soot out, which could only be done during warmer seasons.

The Navy Yard’s form of spring cleaning took shape by shredding confidential documents with ProShred Philly, recycling electronics with E-Force Recycling, and collecting gently used professional attire to benefit Career Wardrobe!

Read more

Construction Update: Three Crescent Drive Parking Deck

In March 2017, Jefferson Health, Liberty Property Trust, and Synterra Partners announced plans for expanded services offered by Jefferson at the Navy Yard, by leasing additional space to open a 70,000-plus square-foot facility at Three Crescent Drive by early to mid-2018. Jefferson’s vision for the Navy Yard is to create a consumer-oriented healthcare destination located in a large, attractive, and highly accessible area for its patients in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.  Read more

New Federal Award to Expand Navy Yard Shuttle Service

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, today announced it will expand its popular shuttle service at the Navy Yard, as a result of receiving funding from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). The $416,280 award is part of the Competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program that funds projects to improve air quality and/or reduce traffic congestion. CMAQ projects reduce emissions and help Greater Philadelphia meet federal health-based air quality standards. Read more

Zipcar is now available at The Navy Yard!

The Navy Yard is pleased to announce the addition of a new, convenient Zipcar car sharing location! Employees at The Navy Yard and the nearby South Philadelphia neighborhood now have access to “wheels when you want them” with the addition of a Zipcar centrally located outside of 201 Rouse Boulevard. Read more

Mayor Nutter Announces Lux Products Corporation has Relocated HQ to Philadelphia

Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Lux Products Corporation, an innovative HVAC controls company formerly based in New Jersey, has relocated its headquarters to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The company’s employees settled into their new Philadelphia location as of April 1st. Read more

Alstom receives $1.2M DOE funding to advance Philadelphia microgrid project

Alstom has been awarded $1.2M by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to improve grid resiliency through the advancement of microgrid technology. Alstom will research and design a community microgrid system in partnership with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), which provides water, wastewater and storm water services for greater Philadelphia, and PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation. Read more

Apply for an EnergyWorks Loan Today!

The EnergyWorks Loan Fund provides low-cost financing to support energy efficiency retrofit projects for businesses and nonprofits in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. PIDC partners with The Reinvestment Fund and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to offer this innovative energy efficiency program. Read more

Navy Yard

The Navy Yard is considered the most successful redevelopment of a former military facility in the country and today is a growing community where companies and their employees thrive. Future growth will support up to 10 million square feet of commercial and residential development.

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