SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 12, 2007) – Furthering Princess’ dedication to improving air quality in the port cities from which its ships sail, the cruise line has partnered with the Port of San Francisco to develop a shore power system that will enable its ships to turn off their engines when they dock at Pier 35 and “plug in” to clean electrical power.
The Port of San Francisco and Princess Cruises have received a $1.9 million clean air grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to develop the system, which will be based on similar shore power programs Princess debuted in Juneau in 2001 and in Seattle in 2005. Next year, Princess will also begin a shore power program at the Port of Los Angeles.
Shore power, also known as “cold ironing,” enables ships to turn off their diesel engines and connect to local electric power that travels to the ship from a specially designed transformer at the dock. As a result, shore-based electricity runs all onboard services during the day-long calls.
“We’ve been committed to shore power for many years, and we’re pleased to bring our expertise to the Bay Area to help introduce this important capability to the San Francisco cruise terminal,” said Dean Brown, executive vice president for Princess Cruises. “We know that local communities care about air emissions, and this is an innovative way to benefit the local air quality.”
Princess’ shore power program made history when it first began operations in Juneau in the summer of 2001. The innovative program, initiated by the City of Juneau, involved the expertise of worldwide and local contractors, including Alaska Electric Light and Power. The technology was expanded to Seattle in summer 2005, and shore power connections are now featured on eight ships which are equipped to use local hydroelectric power. All Princess ships sailing from the Port of San Francisco are fully equipped and ready to plug into shore power when it debuts there.
To create this unusual power system, Princess has outfitted its ships with a custom-built, state-of-the-art electrical connection cabinet that automatically connects the ship’s electrical network to the local electrical network ashore. The electrical power is transmitted from the landside transformer to the vessel via four 3 1/2-inch diameter flexible electrical cables. The actual cable connection on the vessel is a traditional, though quite large, male/female plug and socket.
“When we first developed shore power, it was a challenging project because it was the first of its kind and there was no existing blueprint we could use. Now with Juneau and Seattle operating successfully for several years and Los Angeles also working on a program, we can share our expertise with the Port of San Francisco to help expand this successful environmental initiative in California,” added Brown.