By Mark Edward Nero
The battleship USS Iowa, which now sits as a floating museum at the Port of Los Angeles, on Jan. 23 unveiled a new and permanent educational exhibit coinciding with the vessel becoming the latest vessel to plug into clean, electric shore-side power at the port.
AMP – alternative maritime power – technology allows vessels to shut down their diesel engines while at berth and plug into clean shore-side power to run on-board systems. The Iowa’s operational systems previously ran on a diesel generator.
The new exhibit on the wharf steps from the entry ramp onto the battleship Iowa is a joint project of the Battleship IOWA, Cavotec and the port. The exhibit, which includes heavy-duty AMP cables and connectors, celebrates the technology’s success, its widespread adoption at ports worldwide over the past decade, and the stakeholders who helped make AMP a viable alternative for container and cruise ships calling at the port.
Ships are the heaviest pollution contributors in seaborne trade, accounting for about half of all port-related pollution in San Pedro Bay. Plugging a ship into shore-side power for a 24-hour period achieves the same air quality improvements as taking 33,000 cars off the road, according to the POLA.
The port first used AMP in 2004, three years before the California Air Resources Board began requiring container, cruise and refrigerated cargo ships to use AMP or an equivalent technology. International standards for shore-side power connections were put into place in 2012.
“The Port of Los Angeles made history as the birthplace of electric shore-side power technology for container ships,” Iowa museum President and CEO Jonathan Williams said. “So it’s fitting that a historical icon like the Battleship IOWA will house an exhibit where the public can learn about AMP.”