The Philadelphia Navy Yard could soon become the hub of energy research for the entire region.
Plans are in the works to build an "energy campus" where businesses and military engineers would develop commercial ventures to use alternative forms of energy including solar and wind, officials said.
The yard is still home to the Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station, where military personnel are working on ways to produce more power with less fuel.
The energy-campus promoters have big plans. They believe that energy-related research and development might one day do for Philadelphia what computers did for Silicon Valley.
"We think we're involved with something here that could affect the overall economy in a big, big way in the long term," Joseph J. Houldin, chief executive of the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, a nonprofit economic-development agency told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Some of the Navy station's long-term vendors and suppliers have opened offices in the yard, and a few start-up energy ventures have located there, such as Light-Pod Inc., a four-year-old company that manufacturers solid-state lighting devices.