Moving rapidly to implement a project with far reaching environmental benefits, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen joined City staff and representatives of the Port’s Pier 70 Shipyard operator, BAE Systems, Inc. to announce a new shore power project in the Port’s Drydock #2. The project was approved by the Planning Commission, the Port Commission and the Board of Supervisors as mitigation for air quality impacts resulting from the America’s Cup sailing event (“AC34”) and the construction of the Port of San Francisco’s new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27.
Today, Mayor Lee and Supervisor Cohen introduced legislation to enable the Port to contract with BAE San Francisco Ship Repair, operator of the Port’s shipyard at Pier 70, to design and install a multi-million dollar upgrade to the shipyard’s electrical system. The upgraded system and new equipment will allow cruise ships and other large commercial and military vessels to shut down their engines and receive clean hydropower power from the city’s electrical grid while in port.
The shipyard’s shoreside power system, which is expected to be operational by September 2012, was inspired by the Port’s shoreside power system for cruise ships, the first such system in the State of California. That system, located at Pier 27, was inaugurated on October 6, 2010, with the connection of the Island Princess. The Pier 27 system will be offline for two years during the construction of the Port’s new James R. Herman Cruise Terminal and the use of the pier by the AC34 event.
“Being environmentally sustainable can create jobs and spur economic growth,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “San Francisco has demonstrated with shoreside power that cruise ships that dock on our shores are powerful economic engines for our local economy while at the same time protect our air quality and our Bay waters.”
“This unique collaboration between the City and BAE San Francisco Ship Repair will not only mean cleaner air, but the installation of shoreside power will also increase the competitiveness of the ship yard resulting in more work for the skilled union workers that we employ," stated Hugh Vanderspek , General Manager, BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair.
Supervisor Cohen hailed the project for its air quality benefits to District 10. “When it is commissioned later this year, the Pier 70 shore-side power system will eliminate the release of tons of pollutants every year, well after the America’s Cup is over. Once again, our city is leading the way with creative solutions that better our community both economically and environmentally.”
“The Port wishes to thank the multiple stakeholders who are helping the Port make this project a reality: Mayor Lee, Supervisor Cohen, our shipyard operator BAE, our sister agency the SFPUC, and the environmental groups who helped the Port navigate a complex environmental review process – Natural Resources Defense Council and Turtle Island Restoration Network,” said Vice President of the San Francisco Port Commission Kimberly Brandon.
“The Pier 70 shore power project will improve air quality along the San Francisco waterfront for years to come,” said Teri Shore of Turtle Island Restoration Network. “We recognize the planning department, the City, the Mayor’s Office and the America’s Cup Event Authority for requiring cleaner marine fuels, engines and other measures to minimize the primary air quality and environmental concerns we had about the America’s Cup and new cruise terminal at Pier 27.” Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.org) lobbied for Bay air and water quality protections from the America’s Cup races and associated waterfront development.
Diane Bailey, Senior Scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council said “We are very pleased to see San Francisco step up and address air pollution from the project with a solid set of mitigation measures. If all of these measures move forward, San Francisco residents will benefit from this event, with improved air quality and public health.”