The Port of Virginia has said it will fulfil all of its operational electricity needs from clean-energy resources by 2024.
With this commitment, the port moves forward with its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040.
“We are taking this world-class operation and coupling it with a twenty-first century approach to sustainability,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority.
“This decision helps reduce our contribution to global climate change, protects our ocean and marine resources and makes us a better neighbour, six years ahead of schedule.
“Our commitment to becoming a completely carbon-neutral operation by 2040 aligns us with some of the world’s leading ocean carriers, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and multinational corporations. It is also a strategic business decision. Consumers worldwide are demanding clean – green — supply chains and our work will put us at the forefront of this change.”
The Port of Virginia already sources some of its electricity for its on-terminal cargo operations from renewable sources and a power purchase agreement approved 9 May by the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners expands access to clean energy.
This agreement allows the Virginia Department of Energy to allocate an additional 10 per cent of the energy from 345 megawatts of solar projects being completed by Dominion Energy.
According to Virginia, this allocation, along with other solar, nuclear, and wind resources provided by Dominion Energy will support the port’s current load of 130,000 megawatt-hours of electricity each year and allow the port to maintain 100 per cent clean energy sourcing as its cargo load grows.
Robert M. Blue, President and CEO of Dominion Energy, added: “We look forward to providing carbon-free energy to The Port of Virginia and supporting its efforts to become the first carbon neutral port on the U.S. East Coast by 2040.
“Virginia’s port is second to none and plays a vital role in the Commonwealth’s clean energy transition as a supply chain hub for offshore wind.”
As volumes at the port increase, and it continues to transition from fossil fuels to new, cleaner, technologies, the sources of available clean electricity will expand.
The port’s original goal for sourcing all of its electricity from clean sources was 2032.
“We are ahead of schedule on a couple of fronts. Almost five years ago, we began to electrify our operation, audit carbon emissions, replace aging equipment with greener machines and make greater use of technology,” continued Edwards.
“As a result, more than one-third of the equipment we use on terminal today is electric and our use of technology is driving efficiency. This is a start that we’re proud of, but we know we can do better, and this announcement is an important step forward.”
In April, a total of 323,244 TEU passed through the Port of Virginia, a 12.9 per cent increase to the same period in 2021.
Container volumes were ahead of January, February, and March which were 262,000, 297,000, and 315,000 TEU respectively.