The new shore power technology at the Port of San Francisco cruise ship terminal enables Princess Cruises’ ships, and other equipped vessels, to use power from the city’s grid instead of the engines to power the ship’s onboard services--reducing emissions when docked in San Francisco.
The port becomes the fourth in the world where Princess Cruises’ ships can take advantage of this innovative technology. The new shore power installation in San Francisco is a cooperative effort by the Port of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Environmental Protection Agency, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.
“We know that local air quality is an important issue in the Bay Area, so we’re pleased to join with the port to debut this important environmental initiative,” said Dean Brown, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president. “Our commitment to shore power technology began nearly 10 years ago, and we’re very pleased we can now ‘plug in’ our ships in San Francisco.”
Princess’ shore power program made history when it debuted in Juneau, Alaska in 2001. It expanded to Seattle in 2005, and then to Vancouver in 2009. Shore power connections are planned to roll out in other ports that have made commitments to the technology, including Los Angeles and San Diego. Currently nine of the line’s ships are outfitted with the capability to “plug in” to a shoreside power source, representing an investment for Princess of nearly $7 million in equipment alone.
To create this unique power system, also known as “cold ironing,” Princess has outfitted its ships with custom-built connection cabinets that join the ship’s electrical network to the local electric system ashore. The electric power is transmitted from a landside transformer to the vessel via four 3½-inch diameter flexible cables. The actual cable connection on a vessel is a traditional, though quite large, plug and socket. The length of time needed to connect a ship to shore power and shut down the vessel’s diesel generators is approximately 40 minutes. Once connected, the ship’s engines are powered down and, simultaneously, the necessary amount of power is delivered to run the ship’s services while in port.
The Princess ships currently equipped with shore power technology include:
- Coral Princess
- Dawn Princess