Port of Oakland Aims to Plug In Every Vessel

California’s Port of Oakland has unveiled its goal to intensify efforts to curb diesel emissions by plugging more vessels into shore power.

“If there are ways to strengthen our port electrical infrastructure to promote more use of electrical power from our grid, we will do it,” Chris Lytle, Port of Oakland’s Executive Director, said.

“We will collaborate with shipping lines and the marine terminal operators here in Oakland to build on the progress we’ve already made.”

Lytle delivered his pledge to visiting members of the World Shipping Council. Technical experts from five of the council’s shipping lines were in Oakland to study shore power.

According to Lytle, shore power has helped Oakland reduce diesel emissions by 75 percent in the past decade.

Port data shows that more than 70 percent of all ships visiting Oakland rely on shore power. That is in line with existing rules governing California seaports. But state regulators indicate they may increase the requirement in the coming decade.

Therefore, Oakland is considering a number of enhancements to increase shore power use. Among them additional landside electrical vaults, more substations to increase the power supply, as well as standardized procedures to ease the plug-in process for vessel crews.

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