Microgrid Knowledge – Ameresco Highlights Unique Floating Solar Microgrid Project at Fort Bragg
Nicole Bulgarino, executive vice president and general manager of federal solutions at Ameresco, spoke to Elisa Wood, editor-in-chief of Microgrid Knowledge, at Microgrid 2020 Global about Ameresco’s new floating solar microgrid project — still a rare technology in the U.S.
Wood kicked off the interview by asking Bulgarino about the work Ameresco has been doing in the microgrid space, in particular, a recently announced project in partnership with Duke Energy at Fort Bragg Army Base in North Carolina.
Bulgarino said that the project is being completed under a utility energy services contract for the Army base and is focused on a microgrid and power generation as well as energy efficiency.
The project includes traditional lighting upgrades throughout the base, as well as water conservation measures and what Bulgarino pointed out as other “much needed mechanical upgrades.”
That said, what makes this project stand out is a floating photovoltaic (PV) system, the first of its kind for Ameresco. These are PV modules that will sit on a damned-off water reservoir. The modules will cover about two acres of water and provide over a megawatt of power.
Located in a remote area where the Fort Bragg troops hold special ops training, the floating solar microgrid offers several advantages, including providing power at a remote site without using up needed land.
“It’s actually a very effective way to do it. The water is there to help keep the panels cooler, so it gives them a little more efficiency,” Bulgarino said. “And the installation is quite simple as well.”