A few months before the UN’s International Maritime Organization members agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, the Port of Seattle shared remarkable results from the Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory. Between 2005 and 2016, maritime-related air pollutant emissions in Puget Sound had decreased in nearly every sector — some pollutants by as much as 97%.
The Port of Seattle credited a wide range of emissions reduction initiatives for the decrease that included voluntary programs and projects working toward cleaner engines, fuels, and operational efficiency. They aren’t alone. US ports from coast to coast reported lower emissions and improved efficiencies this year.
Energy Manager Today takes a look back at some of the highlights.
The Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s programs include providing electric ship-to-shore cranes for cargo terminals and offering financial incentives so that ships burn cleaner fuel at berth.
“The really good news about this latest air emissions inventory is that the efforts of marine terminal operators and vessel operators are paying off with cleaner air,” Captain (ret.) Mike Moore, VP of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, said in March when the Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory was released.
Over the summer, 78% of the ships visiting the Port of Oakland cut their engines and plugged into landside electrical power, a rate that officials said was the highest ever recorded there. In the early fall, the Port of Oakland reported that diesel particulate emissions from maritime operations were down 81% since 2005. Plus, cargo volume grew during that same time period.
One port program in Oakland purged older, exhaust-heavy big rigs from the truck fleet that hauls containers. Port officials also credited regulations requiring container ships to use cleaner-burning low-sulfur fuel, switch off engines and plug into land-side power at the port for the emissions reduction.
Also this fall, the Port of Los Angeles received $41 million from the California Air Resources Board for the massive Zero and Near Zero-Emission Freight Facilities project, which has additional support from Toyota, Kenworth, and Shell. The project calls for heavy duty hydrogen fueling stations, 10 hydrogen fuel-cell-electric trucks, and zero-emissions technology in off-road and warehouse equipment.
In October, Schneider Electric agreed to build a microgrid technology demonstration for the Port of Long Beach in California. The project includes a 300-kilowatt photovoltaic system, a 250-kilowatt microgrid-extending mobile battery energy, and a 500-kilowatt diesel generator as well as stationary battery energy storage.
“Ensuring a stable supply of energy is crucial to the zero-emissions future the Harbor Commission envisions for the Port of Long Beach,” said Tracy Egoscue, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners president.
We are currently accepting submissions for the 2019 Energy Manager Today Awards. Learn more and submit a project or product here.