Home » Port of San Diego installs charging station for electric tug

Port of San Diego installs charging station for electric tug

by Mark Cantrell
Representatives of Crowley, the Port of San Diego, and partners take part in a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of a charging station for an electric tugboat

Construction is getting started on a pioneering on-shore electric charging station at the Port of San Diego, California, that will be used to power-up a new zero-emission tugboat.

Crowley, a US maritime, energy and logistics company, is working with the port authorities to deliver the new facility, said to be the first of its kind.

Representatives of the two organisations took part in a groundbreaking ceremony this week to mark the beginning of the project.

The charging station is a microgrid facility intended to allow vessels to recharge quickly while reducing peak loads on the community energy grid.

It will be used to provide clean energy for the eWolf, the company’s forthcoming zero-emission tugboat, itself currently under construction.

Matt Jackson, Crowley’s vice president of advanced energy, said: “We are proud to share in this moment with the City of San Diego to showcase an industry-first, shoreside charging station at the Port of San Diego.

“Building a sustainable, zero-emission port of the future requires pioneering new and innovative technology, as well as a commitment to partnerships so we can meet the needs of our communities, customers and people.”

The shoreside charger will be equipped with two containerised energy storage systems, provided by Corvus Energy; a supplier of energy solutions to the maritime industry.

Each container will house battery modules with storage capacity of almost 1.5MWh, for a total capacity of 2,990kW. The station itself will be equipped with a battery monitoring system, HVAC, and firefighting and detection technology.

The station is designed to operate on off-peak hours from the community’s energy grid, and it includes a solar power array to support renewable energy use. The technology is also designed to support other electric equipment and vehicle operations, if needed.

Rafael Castellanos, chair of the Port of San Diego’s board of port commissioners, said: “We are proud to work with Crowley, and are grateful they chose San Diego Bay as home of the first all-electric tugboat in the United States.

“Their commitment to sustainability in the maritime industry directly aligns with our own efforts and goals to reduce emissions and improve public health in our communities, while also supporting efficient and modern maritime operations.”

The eWolf and its shoreside solar charging station are the result of a partnership among Crowley, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the US EPA and the US Maritime Administration.

Image courtesy of Crowley/Port of San Diego

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