Port of Virginia

Port of Virginia enters 2024 as the first US East Coast port powered by 100% clean energy

The Port of Virginia has become the first US East Coast port powered by 100 percent clean energy, achieving its clean energy goal eight years ahead of schedule.

Today, the port is powering all its terminals with electricity from clean resources and accelerating its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040.

“Virginia is the first major US East Coast port to power its entire operation using 100 percent clean electricity,” Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA), said.

“In doing so, the port is building upon its reputation as America’s Most Modern Gateway. Our cargo operations and overall performance are world-class, and we are advancing sustainability goals that are aligned with how we operate. This is a modern approach to meeting our environmental targets and we are setting ourselves apart as a result.”

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Using clean electricity helps the port offset its carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions 45 percent per container. The reduction comes in two target areas, scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 are emissions – exhaust — from equipment and scope 2 are the emissions generated from the electricity used to power and charge electric equipment as well as supplying port buildings with lighting, heating, air conditioning, etc.

This milestone demonstrates the port’s commitment to supporting sustainability in Virginia. In addition, the accomplishment puts the port eight years ahead of its original 2032 goal of using clean energy to power operations, an integral step in reaching its net-zero by 2040 commitment.

Today, the port operates 116 electric stacking cranes, four electric rail cranes and 27 electric ship-to-shore cranes. This fleet of all-electric equipment will grow as the port moves forward on the optimization of the North Berth at Norfolk International Terminals — the expansion will increase the fleet size to 152, seven and 31 respectively.

“The type of equipment we are using, the way we power it and our overall approach to sustainability demonstrates to our customers and those port users seeking clean supply chains that this modern gateway can help meet their goals,” Edwards said.

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The move to clean electricity is a result of a Power Purchase Agreement with Dominion Energy and a rider with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. The Power Purchase Agreement ensures the generation and allocation of enough clean energy to support all current and future operational megawatt requirements.

“Helping The Port of Virginia become the first net-zero port on the US East Coast is part of our core mission to provide our customers with reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy,” Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president and CEO, commented.

“Virginia’s port … plays a vital role in the development of offshore wind along the East Coast. The action it is taking on its sustainability goal shows this is a forward-looking organization at the forefront of Virginia’s clean energy transition.”

The port is also investing $220 million in the development of the US East Coast’s first offshore wind logistics hub in Portsmouth at Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT). This project is supporting Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, a 176-unit wind-turbine-energy farm off of Virginia Beach and the largest offshore wind project in America to date. The first major components for the project are being discharged and stored at PMT.

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