Victoria (BC) to proceed with shore power project

2021-01-11T21:47:37+00:00 January 11th, 2021|Environment|

Following a meeting in early December, 2020, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) Board, British Columbia confirmed that it will proceed with the next stage of the shore power project for the Victoria Cruise Terminal located at The Breakwater District.

The Ship Emission Mitigation Technology Assessment and Business Case created by consulting firm Moffat & Nichol indicated that a reduction of more than 46% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and criteria air contaminants (CACs) is achievable with the installation of shore power at two berths at Pier B.

This pier plays host to 75% of all cruise ship calls during the season.

The cost for the planned solution is between Can$23.3 mill and Can$24.8 mill. In contrast, the 2019 gross revenues for GVHA, a not-for-profit organisation, were Can$16.3 mill.

Due to COVID-19, the suspension of cruise worldwide, and remaining uncertainty about resumption of Canadian cruise activities and the financial impact to GVHA, the project cannot proceed until cruise industry stabilisation is achieved and funding sources are put in place.

The project’s critical next steps will focus on funding opportunities with partners and stakeholders and developing a power upgrade design and installation plan with BC Hydro.

“The Board of Directors fully supports the recommendations provided by Moffat & Nichol and GVHA staff, which helps plot a path forward for the future implementation of shore power,” said Dave Cowen, Chairman of the GVHA Board. “Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economic strength of GVHA, we know the tourism industry and cruise sector will recover over time.

“It is our intention that, with the support of the Board of Directors for this path forward, GVHA can pursue shore power in a timeline that dovetails with the global restart and rebuilding of tourism,” he said.

Cruise ships are the largest emission sources for The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, accounting for 96% of total GHG emissions at the terminal in 2018, equivalent to 3,241 cars on the road per year.

These findings were taken from the full-scale emissions inventory completed for GVHA by Synergy Enterprises in 2019, which subsequently supported the business case developed by Moffat & Nichol.

Of this 96%, 29% of emissions were produced while the vessels were navigating and manoeuvring into berth, while 71% were produced while vessels were ‘hotelling’ in port. It is anticipated that by 2030, 85% of all vessels calling at the Victoria Cruise Terminal will be shore power capable – the number increasing to 95% by 2040.

“Our goal is to be one of the greenest ports in North America, so we are committed to this project as part of our overall strategy. The path to get to this decision has been anything but a straight line due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am pleased that the business case findings show that emissions can be reduced through the implementation of shore power,” said Ian Robertson, GVHA CEO. “The challenge now is finding the right sectors of financial support for shore power. As a community-based, not-for-profit organisation, we cannot afford to build this project without support from external partners.”

After an extensive study of various shore power technologies, frequency conversion technology installed with the shore power connection was recommended to optimise for variability in types of cruise and non-cruise vessels, further adding to the long-term diversification of the deepwater port.

As part of the shore power project, GVHA staff will develop an organisation-wide electrification strategy, aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and objectives set out by the City of Victoria (BC), which incorporates charging, renewable energy and energy savings.