Portsmouth International Port to become shore power ready as part of net zero drive

Portsmouth International Port has received approval from Portsmouth’s City Council for its shore power strategy to tackle carbon emissions and become one of the UK’s first zero-emission ports.

To achieve that ambition, Portsmouth is blazing a trail in the adoption of experimental green technologies, turning the port into a living laboratory. The plans, which aim to improve air quality and their carbon footprint, have been put together with the government’s maritime 2050 strategy in mind.

In a landmark decision, Portsmouth’s City Council, which owns and operates Portsmouth International Port, agreed to support the port’s efforts to provide shore power, subject to securing funding.

This includes the short term development of a battery storage solution, for providing shore power to smaller cruise vessels, as well as a long-term ambition of supplying all vessels that visit the port. Furthermore, one of the port’s long-standing customers, Noble Caledonia, has agreed to upgrade its vessels to take shore power, when the project goes ahead.

With an existing AI controlled ‘master’ battery on-site, funded by Innovate UK, combined with new battery storage being installed alongside a new solar array, the port will have enough energy to supply small cruise ships whilst alongside

“Collaboration is key to upgrading the port’s electricity supply, so that clean energy can be provided to all vessels when they are alongside,” Port director, Mike Sellers said.

“This innovative approach, which incorporates existing technologies already available or planned at the port, means we can look to have shore power up and running by the end of 2022 for smaller cruise ships. We’re now looking at long-term plans to roll out this capability to our other berths.”

Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet also committed to continue their support for the port’s green recovery sustainability drive, which includes a hydrogen electrolyser on the port, rolling-out the current fuel filtering project and the construction and piloting of an external fine particle filter at the port boundary.

“Combined with all the actions they are taking, I’m proud to see the city’s port take a lead in the fight for cleaner air and and the drive for net-zero carbon,” Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Green Recovery at Portsmouth City Council added.

For the longer term, options are now being explored to increase the amount of power available at the port, so that shore power can be rolled out to all of the berths at Portsmouth. However, this will require government support across the ports industry, given the investment required, port’s officials concluded.