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Data Shows Shore Power System Reducing Tons of Air Pollutants

Contact: Barbara Moreno (619) 686-6216, Cody Hooven (619) 686-8162 on .

After more than five months of operation, the Port of San Diego’s shore power system is helping clear the air around San Diego Bay.After more than five months of operation, the Port of San Diego’s shore power system is helping clear the air around San Diego Bay.

The latest results show that 22 tons of pollutants and 448 tons of greenhouse gases have been reduced since the shore power system went online in November 2010, according to data compiled by the Port’s environmental consultant, Environ.

The results show the approximate emission reductions from 22 cruise ship connections for Holland America’s ship, the Oosterdam, while using the shore power system. It includes call information from the end of November 2010 through April 16, 2011.

“The Port of San Diego is the second in California and fifth port in the world to use shore power at its cruise ship terminals,” said Scott Peters, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “We’re pleased to have partnered with Holland America Lines on this project. As environmental stewards, the Port is always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment.”

The latest results show that 22 tons of pollutants and 448 tons of greenhouse gases have been reduced since the shore power system went online in November 2010, according to data compiled by the Port’s environmental consultant, Environ.Shore power technology is just one of the initiatives the Port of San Diego has implemented to minimize its impact on the environment through its Green Port Program.

To help pay for the system, the Port was awarded a state Carl Moyer grant by the California Air Resources Board through the county’s Air Pollution Control District. This is the first shore power system the Carl Moyer grant has funded.

“The San Diego Air Pollution Control District is proud to have been an active partner in this endeavor by providing a $2.4 million Carl Moyer Program grant for the installation of the shore power system at the cruise ship terminal,” said Bob Kard, Air Pollution Control Officer. “This alternative source of power will help reduce ships’ emissions and improve the air quality for all San Diego County residents and visitors.”

Shore power is the process of switching from a ship's onboard diesel power supply to shore-based electrical power, while the ship is at the dock. This process greatly reduces polluting air emissions from the ships since electricity from the grid is much cleaner than electricity generated from diesel engines.

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Air pollutants are harmful to the environment (some create smog) and to people's health.

Greenhouse gases generated by human activities contribute to changes in the earth's atmosphere, or climate change.

“This is significant in reaching the goals of the Port’s Green Port Program,” said Cody Hooven, Associate Environmental Specialist. “It means each time a cruise ship connects to the shore power system, it’s equivalent to taking close to 400 passenger cars off the road for one day in pollution reductions. And, for greenhouse gasses, it’s equivalent to removing close to 1,300 passenger cars from the road for one day.”

Tracking these emission reduction results involves calculating approximate offset of nine different pollutants using methods of the California Air Resources Board. This is done by comparing estimated emissions from generating grid electricity to the emissions from combusting marine-grade diesel used by the ships.

The data includes estimates of particulate matter, diesel particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and two greenhouse gases, methane and carbon dioxide.

The system cost $7.1 million and was installed by Cochran Marine, which has perfected the shore power standard for cruise ships. The company has installed shore power for the ports in Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia.

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The Port’s Green Port projects focus on six areas – water, energy, air, waste management, sustainable development and sustainable business practices.

Twenty-three Green Port projects are in place, including the clean truck program, which offered grant funding from the state and matching funds from the Port to replace or retrofit older model trucks to reduce harmful emissions. In addition, the Port started the voluntary vessel speed reduction program, in which cargo and cruise vessel operators are asked to reduce speeds while traveling in and near San Diego’s harbor.

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