Port of Rotterdam Provides Free Shore Power for Battery-Box Trial

rotterdam port
Courtesy Port of Rotterdam

Published Mar 15, 2022 6:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

During a brief trial, the Port of Rotterdam is offering free shore power for large inland vessels using battery power-storage boxes, boosting the available power flow up to 63 amps. 

Since 2010, shore power boxes for inland shipping have been installed at about 60 locations in the center of Rotterdam. Each can provide cold-ironing power for four to six inland vessels, up to a maximum current of 40 amps. This is important for inland vessel operations because the city center has a ban on marine generators.

 These days, some larger inland vessels require more power, according to the port. To meet this demand in a simple way, the Port Authority opted to test out battery banks that can support peak loads of up to 63 amps without any major modifications to the grid system. By placing the battery between the shore power box and the inland vessel, the battery will supply the extra required power when it's needed.

The project offers local benefits for residents. With extra available power, larger inland vessels can also turn off their generators while at the quay, just like smaller ships. This reduces emissions and noise along the densely-inhabited city waterfront. 

Image courtesy Skoon

The battery box is an off-the-shelf solution from Dutch mobile-energy marketplace Skoon, which rents and sells clean mobile energy systems through an online marketplace. It offers containerized batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and solar arrays.

The initial trial will last until March 31, and it aims at showing whether the battery system in combination with the local shore power cabinet can meet the vessels’ demand. The port is covering the cost of the project and is providing free power to vessels that use the station during the test.