Shore-side power ban won’t set Los Angeles back

Large industrial container cranes load a cargo ship at the Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles has said emissions levels will not be affected by the temporary ban on at berth plug ins. 

The ban came about following a directive from Governor Gavin Newsom which sought to alleviate the burden on California’s electricity grid, brought on high demand from hospitals during COVID-19 as well as a lengthy heatwave and wildfires.  

Gene Seroka, CEO at the Port of LA said the Port’s emissions levels will not be affected by the Governor’s temporary ban on at berth plug ins and shore electricity at the state’s ports. 

Speaking at the Meeting of the Board Commissioners for the Port, Seroka said the effects of the directive will be limited by previous efforts to cut emissions. 

“This will not set us back, although every pound of emissions that goes into the air is detrimental,” Seroka said. 

During the virtual meeting, Seroka described the directive as “something that could not be avoided” and was a decision “made on the facts”. 

“The amount of emissions that will roll out because of this are a very infinitesimal percentage of the overall emissions at this port,” Seroka said. “We’ve done enough year-to-date to this point to avoid emissions.” 

The directive was in effect from 17 to 20 August . During the four days ships were forced to be powered by their own diesel engines while at port. 

Seroka said this affected a total of four ships which did not plug into the Port’s shore-electricity grid. 

Every megawatt the Port uses is enough to power 750 homes and Seroka claimed 18 megawatts will have been saved because of the directive. 

The Port of Los Angeles has made a substantial effort to cut emissions and make its operations more environmentally friendly. This has included implementing emission-free technology throughout its yard. 

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