Northwest Seaport Alliance Launches Shore Power Capability

Shorepower being installed at the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Terminal 5. Photo: NWSA/Justin Hirsch, ILWU Local 19.

For the first time ever, a vessel was able to use shore power at a terminal in the Northwest Seaport Alliance on April 10 when the nearly 9,000-TEU vessel MSC Brunella plugged into shore power while at berth at the Seaport Alliance’s Terminal 5.

The new infrastructure enables vessels to shut down diesel engines and connect to the electrical grid while at berth, which lowers diesel particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions.

This is part of a larger effort to green port operations under the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which aims to install shore power infrastructure on international container terminals by 2030. Projects on deck include Husky Terminal in the South Harbor and Terminal 18 in the North Harbor.

“Terminal 5 is an important asset to our region’s economy, adding critical capacity to the west coast that increases cargo movement through our gateway, and now, reduces the environmental impact of port operations on our workers and surrounding near-port neighborhoods,” Seaport Alliance Co-Chair Deanna Keller said. “We thank the Washington State Legislature for their $4.4 million investment in Terminal 5 shore power and look forward to expanding shore power infrastructure across our facilities including the upcoming installation of shore power at Husky Terminal in our South harbor.”

Meanwhile, the second phase of the Terminal 5 modernization program is in the works, with operations in the south berth anticipated to begin in 2024, the NWSA said, adding that Terminal 5 is expected to have 185 acres of cargo capacity when the project is fully complete.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is the marine cargo operating partnership between the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma.

By Karen Robes Meeks