Port of Oakland Shore Power Use Hit All-Time High in July

Seventy-eight percent of container vessels visiting the Port of Oakland last month cut engines and plugged into landside electrical. It was the highest plug-in rate ever recorded in Oakland and the performance demonstrates progress in efforts to curb diesel emissions from ships.

According to Port data, 105 of 135 vessels visiting Oakland in July connected to shoreside electricity at berth.  The ships then switched off auxiliary diesel engines that typically power onboard systems during port stays.  The result: tons of diesel particulate exhaust kept out of the skies over the city.

“We’ve been working with shipping lines for a long time to accelerate the rate of shore power adoption,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll.  “On behalf of all of us who breathe the air in Oakland, it’s gratifying to see this level of cooperation.”

Container ships are the biggest source of diesel exhaust at the Port.  Diesel vessel emissions have declined 80 percent since 2005, thanks in large part to shore power and the use of cleaner-burning low sulfur fuel in ships.

The Port said it’s seeking more plug-ins to reach an 85 percent overall reduction in diesel emissions by 2020. The challenge is that some container ships aren’t yet equipped to plug-in, the Port said.