Shore power use up 7% YoY at Oakland

Port of Oakland 1,157 ships plugged into the Port of Oakland's landside electricity grid to power onboard systems in 2018. Credit: Port of Oakland

75% of all ships visiting the Port of Oakland in 2018 used shore power to help reduce emissions, up from 68% the year before and with usage reaching an all time high of 82% in December 2018.

The port said 1,543 ships tied up in Oakland last year. Of those, 1,157 plugged into the landside electricity grid to power onboard systems. This enabled them to turn off auxiliary diesel engines, eliminating tons of diesel exhaust.

“Shore power is the most effective way we know to reduce vessel emissions,” said Port of Oakland environmental planner Catherine Mukai. “We’re pleased because the trends are positive.”

The port is working with ocean carriers to increase plug-ins even more. The state of California mandates that shipping lines employ shore power at its six largest ports, including Oakland.  However, not all carriers have achieved the required level of usage yet.

Vessels connect to the grid at Oakland’s marine terminals via large cables and landside workers fasten the cables to electrical vaults on the docks. Ships require electrical power at berth to run everything from lights to refrigerated cargo containers.

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