Microgrids at large ports

Ports are the sites of major pollution, where large vessels continue to run their engines even while at berth, and heavy-lifting work is being performed by diesel-powered cranes.[1,2,3,4] As the maritime industry explores ways to decarbonize, microgrids that at ports can play a supplementary role to existing electric grids with an enhanced energy storage systems.

Microgrids-originally developed to manage industrial operations in remote areas-are designed to draw and manage energy from renewable sources such as solar, tidal, wind, hydrogen or other electrofuels that is generated around the clock.[5,6] Microgrids at ports will enable the electrification of lifting and transport machinery, and will also enable large cruise ships to transition to cold ironing, a practice that is currently limited because city-grids cannot bear the load.

The global microgrid market is growing at annual rate of 11.26%, and projected to reach $46bn by 2025.[7,8] Ongoing challenges at ports include the space, cost, and installation of renewable energy generating technologies and microgrid control systems, and the know-how to manage it all. 

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[1] Martínez, J., Vazquez, P. & Maldonado, J. (2019), Energy efficiency and CO2 emissions of port container terminal equipment: Evidence from the Port of Valencia
[2] Villalba, G. & Gemechu, E. (2011), Estimating GHG emissions of marine ports - the case of Barcelona
[3] GreenPort (2020), The Benefits of Battery Hybrid Powered Port Equipment
[4] European Commission (2013), Maritime transport: first step to reduce emissions
[5] Flaherty, N. (2018), Schneider Electric creates microgrid at Long Beach
[6] Hosseini, A., Sangsefidi, Y. & Sani, A. (2018), Multi-Port DC Microgrids: Online Parameter Adaptation in Model Predictive Control
[7] Misra, A., Venkataramani, G., Gowrishankar, S., Ayyasam, E. & Ramalingam, V. (2017), Renewable Energy Based Smart Microgrids - A Pathway To Green Port Development
[8] MarketWatch (2019), Global Microgrid Market was valued at USD 19.01 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 46.26 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 11.26% from 2018 to 2025
More information:
Proctor, D. (2019), Port's Microgrid Could Be Sea Change for Industry
Safety4Sea (2020), Port of San Diego plans microgrid project for cleaner air
GreenPort (2020), US Port Looks to Microgrid Efficiency
Wood, T. (2020), Greenhouse gas emissions in ports and airports
Merk, O. (2014), Shipping Emissions in Ports

By Matthew J. Spaniol