Port of Oakland completes shore power project’s first phase



Jill Borner-Brown, Mohamad Ibrahim, Tim Leong, Delphine Prevost, Marilyn Sandifur, Richard Sinkoff and Anne Whittington of Port of Oakland, CA, USA


Why shore power?

Diesel emissions are associated with public health risks and new regulations have been established to require reductions of those emissions, not only from diesel-fueled trucks that operate at California ports, but also from ships docked at the ports.

Shore power is an emissions-control measure that allows ocean-going ships to run their auxiliary engines while at berth using grid-based power, thereby providing a mechanism to reduce diesel and other air pollutants from ships while they are at berth. Reducing emissions from ships is a key element of California’s Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program. Shore power is one of the principal methods of compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation for ‘vessels at berth’. One-half of a fleet’s vessel calls at California ports will be required to use shore power beginning in 2014. Over time, an increasingly higher percentage of each fleet is required to use shore power.

Shore power regulation

In December 2007 CARB approved a regulation to reduce emissions from diesel auxiliary engines on container, passenger, and refrigerated-cargo ships while berthing at a California port. This new California regulation requires that all operators of container vessels, that have more than 25 cumulative visits annually to California ports, employ an emission reduction system to reduce emissions from their fleets. Fleet operators visiting California ports will be required to reduce vessel emissions by either turning off the vessel auxiliary engines and connecting to a clean source of power or using alternative control technique(s) that achieve equivalent emission reductions while docked.

While a ship is at berth, it requires electricity for minimal functions (called ‘hoteling’). Shore Power (also known as ‘coldironing’) is a land-to-vessel connection that provides electri cal power to the ship. It enables the ship to switch off its onboard diesel-powered generators while docked. Under the regulation, 50 percent of a fleet's visits to a port must be shore power visits by 2014. 80 percent of a fleet’s visits must be shore power visits by 2020.

Description of project

The Port’s shore power project consists of design and construction of high voltage electrical infrastructure in the Port of Oakland (Port) Maritime area. The infrastructure generally runs from the Port’s main substations to on-terminal substations and, from there, to the terminal wharves. Power is extended down to the wharves, where vaults with electrical connections will provide the interface (outlets) for ocean going vessels to connect to the electric grid. Improvements for the shore-side electrical and control system at the Port include: industrial substations to receive power transmitted from the Port’s existing 12.47kilovolt grid (kV – kilovolt); 7.5 MVA (MVA= power) transformers to bring the voltage down to a level compatible with the ship’s electrical requirements (6.6 kilovolts 3 phases, 60Hertz) The power connection at the Port of Oakland is a 6.6 kilovolt electrical connection with an energy demand of up to 7.5 MVA power. The shore power design will follow IEEE/ISO/IEC standard P80005-1 (engineering and electrical standard). This standard addresses: high voltage shore distribution system; shoreto- ship connection and interface equipment; Transformers; ship distribution system; control, monitoring, interlocking and power management system.

Benefits of shore power

The Port of Oakland assumed the cost to install a shore power system not only to assist carriers with the financial burden to com ply with California’s new regulation but also to minimize diesel emissions to residents of neighborhoods adjacent to the Port. Shore power also reduces greenhouse gases in addition to all other combustion byproducts. These reductions in emissions significantly improve air quality and reduce health risk from diesel and other air pollutant emissions at the Port.

At the Port of Oakland, Eagle Marine Services (EMS) completed its shore power infrastructure and Ports America will soon be building its own shore power system. Additionally, the Port of Oakland’s project includes 11 berths. By 2020, the Port estimates at least a 75 percent reduction in both diesel Particulate Matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions while ships are docked.


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