By Mark Edward Nero
The California Energy Commission this month awarded the San Diego Port Tenants Association a $5.9 million grant to fund the development of 10 all-electric freight vehicles outfitted with zero-emission technologies for use at the Port of San Diego.
“We are incredibly proud of the California Energy Commission grant because it proves our small but committed association is dedicated to protecting the environment,” Port Tenants Association Chair George Palermo said. “We couldn’t be prouder and we will excel in production of 10 zero-emissions freight vehicles.”
The Tenants Association was one of two recipients of the “Freight Transportation Projects at California Seaports” grant program of the California Energy Commission under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program for the state. The grant is provided to fund demonstration projects for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies; deployment of natural gas vehicles, including industrial forklifts, cargo trucks and equipment; and intelligent transportation systems and technologies to help move and monitor the vehicles.
In addition, the grant will pay for outreach to communities adjacent to port operations.
The grant award is expected to be matched with $2.3 million in cash and in-kind contributions from seven partner tenants of the tenants’ association: CEMEX, Continental Maritime, Dole Food Co., Harborside Refrigerated Services & Cold Storage, Marine Group Boatworks, Pasha Group and TerminaLift.
The total project budget is $8.2 million.
“This grant award will help us all meet our sustainability goals while we continue the region's economic development,” Port of San Diego Chairman Marshall Merrifield said.
The Tenants Association, along with its industrial tenant partners and several subcontractors, will develop and demonstrate 10 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles used in port operations, with the vehicles employing zero-emissions technologies to improve air quality in the Port of San Diego and the surrounding communities.
The San Diego Port Tenants Association, formed in 1989, is a non-profit organization made up of member businesses and industries that lease land from the Port of San Diego.