Port of Oakland clean energy efforts to get $5.2 million in federal grants

Port of Oakland 3 ships and cranes

Port of Oakland clean energy efforts are getting a $5.2 million boost from the federal government, the port said.

Oakland is receiving grant funds from the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for electrical power upgrades. The grant bolsters the port’s vision of eliminating emissions from maritime operations. 

“We’ve got an ambitious clean air goal,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “This grant from the Maritime Administration is an important moment in helping us take another step toward our goal of zero emissions from maritime operations.”

The port said the funds could be used for three purposes: 

  • construction of a fuel cell site and a solar panel installation with battery storage; 
  • replacement of an electrical substation; and 
  • connecting the substation to a biomass generator. 

The Port of Oakland applied for the funding last summer from the US Department of Transportation. The grant was made through MARAD’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).

The port said additional funding is necessary to advance its clean energy aspirations. It indicated it would request funds from the state of California.

Oakland has established a shore power system that plugs ships into the electrical grid at berth. More than 15 battery powered big rigs are in operation at the Oakland Seaport transporting cargo containers.

Some 13 cargo handling cranes have been converted to hybrid engines. Oakland continues to operate night gates to limit truck congestion and engine idling at marine terminals. 

Through the Port of Oakland’s Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan, the port and its partners have cut diesel emissions at the Oakland Seaport by 86%.  

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