The U.S. Port of Oakland has newly-commissioned equipment designed to curb diesel emissions from ships - a high-voltage cable system that will connect more vessels to Oakland’s landside power grid.
The 200-foot cable-on-reel system will be deployed by Oakland International Container Terminal to connect to ships that can’t closely align with landside electrical vaults at berth. The $230,000 cable system's 10-foot-tall reel is affixed to a trailer. The mobile platform can be deployed alongside any vessel to connect ships to one of the marine terminal’s 18 shorepower electrical vaults. When the ships plug into the vaults, they’ll switch off onboard diesel engines and rely on grid power.
The system has been trialed successfully and is expected to be deployed full-time by autumn.
Nearly 400 vessels are equipped to plug into Oakland’s landside electrical system. Shorepower is one of a series of steps employed to reduce ship emissions in Oakland. The others include converting ships to cleaner-burning low-sulfur fuel when they near the California coast; moving ships quickly in-and-out of port so they’re not sent to anchor in San Francisco Bay with engines running while awaiting berths; and consolidating cargo on fewer but larger ships to reduce the number of vessel calls.
The Port has cut emissions 76 percent since 2009.