Oakland backs shore power to slash emissions
The Port of Oakland has met with shippers to double efforts to curb emissions by plugging more vessels into shore power.
Shore power has already helped Oakland reduce diesel emissions by 75% in the past decade, but now the port’s executive director wants to up the ante and get every calling vessel to plug in at berth.
“If there are ways to strengthen our Port electrical infrastructure to promote more use of electrical power from our grid, we will do it,” said Chris Lytle, executive director at the port.
“We will collaborate with shipping lines and the marine terminal operators here in Oakland to build on the progress we’ve already made.”
Mr Lytle delivered his pledge to visiting members of the Washington DC-based World Shipping Council who were in Oakland to study shore power.
“We’ve reduced truck diesel emissions by 98%,” Mr Lytle said. “So the real opportunity now is on the vessel side.”
According to port data, more than 70% of all ships visiting Oakland rely on shore power. That’s in line with existing rules governing California seaports. But state regulators indicate they may increase the requirement in the coming decade.
To prepare, Mr Lytle said Oakland is taking inventory of roadblocks to shore power use. The challenges can range from ill-equipped ships to not enough electrical vaults at the dock.
It will consider tackling a number of enhancements to increase shore power use including: Additional landside electrical vaults, more substations to increase the power supply and standardised procedures to ease the plug-in process for vessel crews.
In August 2017, it installed a new mobile shore side power system at the Oakland International Container Terminal.