The Port of San Diego's shore power system at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal was selected in March as a public works 2014 Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association.

The new shore power system, dedicated on February 24, will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by allowing cargo vessels to "plug-in" and use electrical power from San Diego Gas & Electric instead of relying on diesel fuel engines while in port.

"The Port is proud to be honored for a project that contributes to our environmental stewardship around San Diego Bay," said Bob Nelson, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "By offering shore power, we not only improve air quality for communities nearby, but we also reduce our impact on the planet."

The installation of shore power has substantial environmental benefits: Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from ships using the system by over 50% (more than 2,000 metric tons) per year. That's equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from about 1,500 cars per year.  Reduces emissions from ships using the system of nitrogen oxides (NOx; an air pollutant) by approximately 95% or 70 tons per year. That's equivalent to NOx emissions from over 4,000 cars per year.

Construction on the $4.25 million project began in mid-2013 and was funded by the Port's Capital Improvement Program. The contractor was NEWest Construction in San Diego.

The Port's main tenant at the terminal and shore-power user, Dole Fresh Fruit Company, recently signed a new long-term lease. Under the terms of the lease agreement, the Port and Dole agreed to work together on these infrastructure improvements.

This project fulfills a mandate set forth by the California Air Resources Board requiring California ports and terminals to provide shore power to container, passenger and refrigerated-cargo ships. The Port of San Diego is already equipped to provide shore power to cruise ships that berth at both its B Street Pier Cruise Ship Terminal and Broadway Pier.

The American Public Works Association is a not-for-profit, professional association of public works agencies, private companies, and individuals dedicated to promoting excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge.