Clean air advance: shore power use up from 68 to 75 percent in 2018

Oakland, Calif. - More ships than ever are switching to landside electricity at the Port of Oakland to curb emissions. The Port said today that 75 percent of all ships visiting here in 2018 used so-called shore power. That was up from 68 percent the year before.

The Port said 1,543 ships tied up in Oakland last year. Of those, 1,157 plugged into the landside grid to power onboard systems. The upshot: vessels could turn off auxiliary diesel engines, eliminating tons of diesel exhaust.

Shore power use reached an all-time high of 82 percent last month, the Port said. The Port is working with ocean carriers to increase plug-ins even more. The state of California mandates that shipping lines employ shore power at its six largest ports, including Oakland. Not all carriers have achieved the required level of usage yet.

“Shore power is the most effective way we know to reduce vessel emissions,” said Port of Oakland Environmental Planner Catherine Mukai. “We’re pleased because the trends are positive.”

Vessels connect to the grid at Oakland’s marine terminals via large cables. Landside workers fasten the cables to electrical vaults on the docks. Ships require electrical power at berth to run everything from lights to refrigerated cargo containers.