January 12, 2022 — The Port of San Diego is another step closer to doubling shore power capability at its B Street and Broadway Pier cruise ship terminals to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on and around San Diego Bay.

At its meeting on January 11, 2022, the Board of Port Commissioners awarded a $268,000 contract to Baker Electric Inc. The San Diego County-based company will install Port provided electrical equipment, and remove, replace, and terminate medium voltage cables. The work is expected to begin in March 2022 and be ready for commissioning in August 2022.

This project was initially funded in April 2021, when the Board approved $4.6 million for the project as well as various agreements related to equipment purchasing, construction, and installment of additional shore power equipment that will allow two cruise vessels calling on San Diego to connect to shore power outlets at the same time. This means the ships will not have to run their diesel auxiliary engines while in port. Currently, only one ship can plug into shore power at a time.

“The Port of San Diego has shown we take our role as an environmental champion of the bay to heart,” said Chairman Dan Malcolm, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “The cruise industry injects hundreds of millions of dollars into our local economy and provides jobs for San Diegans. We are proud to find a way for cruises to continue in an environmentally conscientious way.”

Having the ability to run two shore power outlets simultaneously at the cruise ship terminals will allow two cruise vessels to turn off their diesel engines and connect to the electrical grid. This will significantly reduce pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) and diesel particulate matter (DPM), as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

The Port first installed shore power at the cruise terminals in 2010, making it among the first ports in California to have shore power available for cruise ships and beating a state regulation to reduce diesel particulate emissions from at least 50 percent of cruise calls by nearly four years. Expanding shore power at the cruise terminals is among many of the Port’s clean air efforts. Other initiatives the Port is pursuing or are underway include:

  • The Port’s recent adoption of a Maritime Clean Air Strategy;
  • New shore power system with at least two shore power outlets or alternative emissions capture system(s) by 2025 at the National City Marine Terminal;
  • Adding an additional shore power outlet to the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal’s existing shore power system, which includes two shore power outlets, by 2031;
  • Vehicle and cargo handling equipment electrification, including the purchase of an electric crane, at our cargo and cruise terminals;
  • America’s first all-electric tugboat to serve San Diego Bay is under construction with Crowley Maritime;
  • Public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the bayfront;
  • Infrastructure improvements including a 700 KW solar PV system with storage and microgrid at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal; and
  • Innovative technology along Harbor Drive to smartly manage cargo truck traffic passing through Barrio Logan and National City.