Port of Galveston Gets $1M Grant to Support Shore Power Pilot

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11-Oct-2023

The Port of Galveston and Texas A&M University have been awarded a $1 million grant to test out shore power for visiting ships.  

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has provided the grant in order to support Galveston Wharves’ efforts to reduce emissions from cargo vessel operations. 

“Improving air quality is one of our top environmental goals as a Green Marine-certified port. This grant will boost our objective to offer clean shore power to cargo ships calling at the Port of Galveston,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. 

The funds will support procurement of a shoreside microgrid to provide clean, portable shore power to berthed ships. This allows the vessel to shut down its auxiliary engines. The practice is mandatory for certain vessel classes in California, and it is gaining traction in Europe. 

Port of Galveston’s team will conduct a feasibility study on the microgrid concept to evaluate its environmental impact, efficiency and energy consumption. The pilot will begin in 2024 and finish in 2025. 

A spokesperson for Port of Galveston told local media that the pilot could be expanded to support more vessels if successful. 

Texas A&M has been working with the port to study the feasibility of shore power for several years and produced a cost-benefit analysis of cold-ironing options in 2021. The port and the university also have an MOU on studying shore power options in collaboration with Shell, CenterPoint, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

Galveston is also home of the world’s first “zero-energy” certified cruise terminal, built and operated by Royal Caribbean. The cruise line’s new terminal generates 100 percent of its needed power using on-site solar panel arrays. It is also the first LEED Gold-certified building in Texas.  

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