Plymouth to pilot clean maritime initiative in UK

Plymouth pilots clean maritime initiative in UK

The University of Plymouth has announced an initiative to demonstrate how sustainable maritime technology can give energy flexibility to harbours and ports.

Alan Williams, Senior Media and Communications Officer at the University of Plymouth, noted that the Virtual Bunkering for Electric Vessels (VBEV) demonstration venture is the world’s first vessel-to-grid project. This will reportedly illustrate some of the benefits of bidirectional infrastructure, such as the utilisation of marine batteries to offer energy storage and management services to harbours, ports, and the grid.

Williams noted that it will also work to prevent costly grid enhancements, cut energy prices, and boost renewables integration.

READ: UK government unveils £1.5 million initiative for green maritime routes

The project is being led by a partnership of experts in maritime infrastructure, vessel fabrication, software, and energy.

Aqua superPower is leading the initiative, while other collaborators include vessel makers RS Electric and Ingenity, energy firm EDF, City College Plymouth, research centre CENEX, and bidirectional software supplier Fuuse Ltd.

Together, they seek to accelerate efforts to reduce carbon emissions and move the marine sector towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.

READ: UK government implements anti-fouling shipping regulation

Alex Bamberg, CEO of Aqua superPower, said: “Enhanced energy management will allow sites to better adapt to increasing demands on power from electrification of vessels, potentially reduce the grid connection where capacity is limited or costly and integrate more renewables.”

Lee Durndell, Lecturer in Chemistry, stated: “This project is another important step in the UK’s transition to clean maritime technologies. There is clear appetite from both vessel and harbour owners to see the sector grow over the coming years, but technical questions remain that need to be answered.

“One of those is around battery performance and health and this project will begin addressing that, while aligning with the growing commercial interest in clean maritime and how it can be rolled out more widely.”

Recently, NatPower Marine and Peel Ports Group announced plans to establish the first green shipping corridors between Ireland and the UK.

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