Port of Long Beach begins work on Microgrid project


The Port of Long Beach has begun construction of its microgrid demonstration project which will provide electricity for its security headquarters.

Construction started this week and is aimed at providing energy resilience for the port’s main security facility – the Joint Command and Control Centre while enhancing air quality by delivering clean power for daily operations.

The project will also reduce the port’s reliance on diesel generators to produce electricity during outages.

“It is vital that we improve energy resilience as we move toward zero-emission equipment that will allow us to enhance air quality while moving a record number of cargo containers,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“Our move toward large-scale energy resilience in the future will benefit the surrounding communities by taking power demand off the utility grid, especially during extreme heat events when rolling blackouts occur.”

Steven Neal, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, added: “Generating power with a new microgrid will enhance reliability for the Port’s critical security operations during an outage on the utility grid.

“This project also gives us a glimpse into the future and moves us closer toward using greener energy sources.”

Equipped with a 300-kilowatt photovoltaic solar panel array, the microgrid will convert sunlight into electricity for the Port’s security headquarters with a connection to provide resilience to Jacobsen Pilot Services, the private company that guides cargo vessels in the Port.

The microgrid system’s capability to maintain operations will allow JCCC staff to work uninterrupted during a power outage.

The project is anticipated to save the Port more than $60,000 annually on electricity costs, with a yearly output of approximately 520-megawatt hours.

During widespread outages or emergencies, a truck-mounted battery system can remain at the JCCC or serve as a zero-emissions generator that can be deployed to refrigerated container yards, pump stations and other critical areas.

Deploying the microgrid during an outage will reduce the need to use diesel generators for emergency power.

The Port of Long Beach also recently announced that its Back Channel will require a weekend-long closure to vessels in May this year while the Gerald Desmond Bridge is being demolished.

The Back Channel will be closed from 6.00 am on 7 May 2022 until 9 May, as the bridge’s 527-foot-long main span is disconnected and lowered onto a barge.

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