Marine Shore Power Program


Video Length: 07:48 seconds

Opening Title: Greener Ports, Cleaner Oceans: The Marine Shore Power Program

Narrator: Every week, cruise ships arrive at ports like this one in Vancouver. These massive 'hotels of the sea' which can carry up to 4,000 people - boast nearly every kind of amenity you might imagine... As well as sophisticated seafaring equipment - all of which require electrical power. That power is generated by the ship's diesel engines...Meaning cruise liners have to run their engines around the clock while in port-creating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and costing cruise operators huge amounts of fuel.

Piero Susino, Director of Technical Services, Princess Cruises: “The ship is still working. We still have full AC. The galleys are still working to prepare food, elevators. All the lights are on. So we are taking about 10-and-a-half megawatts per hour. A rough calculation will tell you that an average household in North America will take about 10 to 11 months to use the same power that we use in one hour.”

Narrator: Shore power allows ships to shut down their engines and plug into a city's electrical grid when docked, using clean hydroelectricity to run their onboard services.

Port Metro Vancouver is home to one of only a few shore power equipped ports in the World. And because of British Columbia's clean, mostly hydro generated power, Vancouver is an ideal Port to provide Marine Shore Power.

Greg Wirtz, Manager of Trade Development, Port Metro Vancouver: “The cruise ships that call here regularly, when they arrive here in the morning and the ships tie up, they're here for the whole day basically. And while they're along side, these are like small cities that are operating. And if we can get those ships to turn their engines off and connect to the electrical grid, we can completely eliminate the air borne emissions that are associated with those ships generating their power.”

Narrator: Marine shore power draws from landside transformers. After converting the power from city voltage to a voltage appropriate for the ship's functions, the electricity is conducted through four three-and-a-half inch diameter flexible electrical cables.

Using shore power cuts marine diesel consumption by about 35 tonnes per ship over the course of the summer cruise season.


Benefits of Marine Shore Power

  • Fuel savings for ship operators
  • Cleaner air and water in port cities
  • Opportunities for utilities to profit by selling power to ships

Narrator: In development since 2005, this project required significant planning and problem solving to make everything work-for the Port, the cruise lines and the people of Vancouver. To start, the ships draw a significant electrical load from the grid, and BC Hydro needed to ensure the city's own power supply would remain stable.

Darren Richter, Key Account Manager, BC Hydro: "The cruise lines wanted to connect two different ships to the Canada Place terminal. With that, each of the ships could be up to 14 megawatts of load. We were able to connect each of the two different terminals because of redundant circuits that were planned for the downtown core. Because the customer was willing to be interrupted because they have their own on-ship generation, we were able to then connect into the stand by loads."

Barry McCormack, Project Engineer, Port Metro Vancouver: "We had to run cable support structure, cable ducting, to bring the cables from the service entrance to the substation locations, and then from the substation locations we had to run the cable in sealed conduits under the dock, to the dock face. At the dock face then we installed what we call jibs, which is a form of crane that has a drum suspended on it so that the cable can actually be suspended over the water and also we have to allow for the 16-foot tides we have here. So we had to have a hydraulic hoist so that the cables could move up and down with the tide."

Piero Susino: "A ship like this, given the technology that we have today, it could cost up to one-and-a-half million dollars basically per vessel, and this is not including anything that is on shore side. This is just purely vessel modification that we have to undertake in order to connect to shore power."

Narrator: The project brought together a number of important partners, with funding provided by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Transport Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, Port Metro Vancouver and the cruise lines themselves.(Names and logos shown on screen)

Catherine Higgens, Director General, Environmental Affairs, Transport Canada: "This program and this project provide an excellent opportunity for the Government of Canada to show leadership in bringing together partners from the private sector, the public sector and the marine shipping industry to harness clean technologies that can have both environmental and economic benefits. The Port of Vancouver was an ideal candidate. They had a solid business case; they had strong partnerships in the public and private sector, and a real willingness to measure the results and share that information with Canadians, so that we could all benefit from their experience with this new technology. Marine Shore Power is a promising clean technology and the program is an important collaboration between the Government of Canada and public and private sector partners that will give Canadian ports the knowledge and the technology they will need to become global leaders in marine shore power."

Patrick Livolsi, Regional Director, South Coast Region, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation: "The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is really proud of being part of this project, and a partner amongst all the companies and agencies that are involved in this project. Certainly promising to be... to improve the air quality in the lower mainland for people and also reaching our target by reducing the green house gases by one-third by the year 2020. So we're well on our way to getting to that target."

Narrator: The shore power installation here was the third of its kind in the entire world. In 2010, 58 shore power equipped cruise ships docketed at Port Metro Vancouver. Those ships represented 34% of all cruise ships that docked at the Port that year. This saved an estimated 475 tonnes of fuel and 1,521 tonnes of CO2 equivalent were reduced.

But the benefits of shore power aren't just environmental...

Gerry Salembier, Assistant Deputy Minister (BC Region), Western Economic Diversification Canada: "This project is just a great example of how you can actually develop the economy and protect the environment at the same time. Each cruise ship that stops here in Vancouver contributes something between a million and two million dollars to the local economy in the form of business for the merchants that are located near the port and in terms of business for the suppliers of goods and services that a cruise ship needs when it's at dock. For all of those of us who are interested in the success of Western Canada, this project is a really important step."

Piero Susino: "The environment is the first beneficiary of this process because once we are in full-shore power, we shut down the engine and we basically have zero emissions. So we don't have CO2, NOx, SOx - everything is off. We are running on full, clean power coming from shore."

Narrator: The Marine Shore Power Program at Port Metro Vancouver is setting a leading example for cruise operators and other ports. Showing how an investment in innovation can cut fuel consumption, reduce emissions and improve environmental performance in all sectors of the marine industry - not only cruise lines but all ocean-going traffic.

Catherine Higgens: "Well the next step is to work with the Port of Prince Rupert on a similar demonstration of shore power for container ships. And we'll be sharing the lessons learned from that project, as well as the cruise ship project in Vancouver with ports in Canada and around the world."

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