Port of Oakland’s clean energy efforts are getting a $5.2 million boost from the US government.

The port is receiving grant funds from the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for electrical power upgrades. The grant bolsters the port’s vision of eliminating emissions from maritime operations.

“We’ve got an ambitious clean air goal,” Danny Wan, Port of Oakland Executive Director, commented.

“This grant from the Maritime Administration is an important moment in helping us take another step toward our goal of zero emissions from maritime operations.”

The port said the funds could be used for three purposes — construction of a fuel cell site and a solar panel installation with battery storage; replacement of an electrical substation; and connecting the substation to a biomass generator.

Oakland’s long-term objective is to eliminate reliance on fossil fuels in cargo handling operations. The electrical upgrades demonstrate the Port of Oakland is taking another important step in its commitment to zero emissions at the Oakland Seaport.

The port said additional funding is necessary to advance its clean energy aspirations. It indicated it would request funds from the state of California.

Oakland is among the leading US ports in sustainable cargo handling. It has established a shore power system that plugs ships into the electrical grid at berth. More than 15 battery powered big rigs are in operation at the Oakland Seaport transporting cargo containers. Thirteen massive cargo handling cranes have been converted to hybrid engines.

Through the Port of Oakland’s Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan, the port and its partners, have cut diesel emissions at the Oakland Seaport by 86%.

The Port of Oakland applied for funding last summer from the US Department of Transportation. The grant was made through MARAD’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).

On 23 December, the U.S. government awarded more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding for 25 projects to improve port facilities in 19 states and one territory through MARAD PIDP.

Source: Offshore Energy