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Port of Virginia Switches to 100% Clean Power

Port of Virginia
Courtesy Port of Virginia

Published Jan 4, 2024 11:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

On New Years' Day, the Port of Virginia became the first seaport on the U.S. East Coast (and one of a handful in the world) to run all of its operations on 100 percent clean power. The port had planned to arrive at this landmark by 2032, but it has achieved its goal early. 

"This achievement aligns the port with some of the world’s leading ocean carriers, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and multinational corporations’ sustainability efforts and differentiates the port as a leader in port sustainability and technology," a spokesperson for the port said in a statement.

The switch nearly cuts carbon emissions per container move in half. The savings are in both Scope 1 (direct onsite emissions from equipment) and Scope 2 (supply chain emissions from power generation). 

Port of Virginia is well-positioned to take advantage of clean electricity because it has already invested in electrification. The port operates 116 electric stacking cranes, four electric rail cranes and 27 electric STS cranes. As the port finishes up work at the North Berth at Norfolk International Terminals, these numbers will increase to 152, seven and 31, respectively. 

The port has secured its green power supply through a power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy. The giant utility is a port customer and partner, and is investing heavily in offshore wind. Dominion President and CEO Robert M. Blue commended the port for making the switch to clean power.  

“Virginia’s port is second to none and plays a vital role in the development of offshore wind along the East Coast. The action it is taking on its sustainability goal shows this is a forward-looking organization at the forefront of Virginia’s clean energy transition," said Blue in a statement.