Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oakland Port Gets $5M to Electrify Three Busy Berths

The Port of Oakland has received $5 million from Bay Area air quality regulators to install ship-to-shore power systems at three frequently used berths.

Officials from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District hope that the funds, along with $3.9 million also handed out to four technology firms to provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure, will spur other metropolitan areas nationwide to move in a similar direction.

“Shore power is one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions from vessels at the Port of Oakland,” BAAQMD Executive Officer Jack Broadbent said. “These projects will significantly reduce pollution and improve air quality.”

Ship-to-shore power systems allow vessels calling at the port to plug into the landside power grid for electricity needed to keep ship systems operating while at berth. This allows the ships to turn off their diesel auxiliary engines that normally provide maintenance power while at dock. Running these auxiliary creates up to half of all the pollution that vessels generate per port visit.

Installation of the ship-to-shore systems will occur at three of the port's most frequented berths – one at the Hanjin Terminal and two at the Oakland International Container Terminal – which collectively see visits from around 500 vessels per year.
Officials at BAAQMD estimate that the ship-to-shore systems will eliminate 33 tons of ozone forming pollutants and particulate matter from Bay Area skies per year.

The ship-to-shore projects are being funded through the Air District’s Mobile Source Incentive Fund, which is collected from a $2 registration surcharge fee on vehicles registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles in the District’s jurisdiction.

According to the BAAQMD, an additional $20 million in funding is now available for shore power systems and cargo handling equipment projects through the BAAQMD Goods Movement Program. Applications are available online at: goods. Applications are due by March 15, and will be reviewed, evaluated and ranked by Air District staff.