Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Christopher O. Ward, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck, New York Power Authority President and CEO Richard M. Kessel, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line today announced a partnership to introduce shore power, which will allow cruise ships to turn off their engines and plug into the City’s electrical grid while in port, at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The partnership will bring first-of-its-kind green port technology to New York City and bring the City closer to achieving the goals set in PlaNYC – to substantially reduce fossil fuel emissions and give New York City the best air quality of any major city in the nation by the year 2030.
“Enabling cruise ships to draw energy from the City’s electrical grid instead of idling and burning diesel fuel is a terrific example of how economic and environmental goals can be achieved together,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “By bringing the first cruise ship shore power operation on the East Coast to red Hook, we’ll lower fossil fuel emissions and improve air quality for local residents – all while keeping our waterfront working and our tourism numbers growing.”
Cruise ships typically berth for up to eleven hours loading and unloading passengers and supplies. While docked, a ship’s power is supplied by auxiliary engines on board the vessel, which are typically powered by high-sulfur diesel fuel. By using shore power, sometimes known as cold ironing, three ships calling at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal – Queen Mary 2, Caribbean Princess and Emerald Princess – will have the ability to connect to the electric grid and turn off their engines, resulting in the near elimination of 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide, 95 tons of nitrous oxide, and 6.5 tons of particulate matter annually.
The project includes over $15 million in onshore infrastructure, funded with about $12 million from the Port Authority and a nearly $3 million grant from the US EPA. Princess and Cunard will spend up to $4 million to retrofit ships that dock at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Under an agreement reached by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the City and New York Power Authority (NYPA) will provide NYPA electricity at a fixed and discounted rate for a period of five years, which is valued at roughly $2 million per year. Approximately 40 ship calls per year will use shore power. Construction of the on-shore infrastructure will begin mid-2011 and is expected to be complete in 2012. Additionally, beginning in 2012, ships will be required to use progressively lower-sulfur fuel for its ships, further reducing the relative cost of shore power.
“The cruise industry is a vital contributor to New York City’s booming tourism sector, which itself is a key driver of economic growth,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation Seth W. Pinsky. “The addition of shore power will make the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal a leader in clean energy technology. This smart investment in our infrastructure will allow the cruise industry to expand in a way that is environmentally friendly for the residents of Brooklyn, while preserving and enhancing economic activity on our waterfront.”
“This is an important and innovative step in the Port Authority’s ongoing efforts to be good environmental neighbors,” said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward. “This project will be the first time this clean technology strategy is being applied at an East Coast port, and we thank the U.S. EPA, the City, the New York Power Authority, Con Edison, Princess and Cunard for joining with us to make it happen.”
“Diesel exhaust poses serious health risks, including increasing the risk of cancer and aggravating the symptoms of asthma,” said Judith Enck, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator. “By providing electric power for cruise ships while in port, we are reducing an important source of air pollution and helping Brooklyn to get cleaner and healthier. This project, funded in part with $2.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money, will improve air quality, create construction jobs and help boost the economy by producing a need for electrical equipment and other components.”
“NYPA is pleased to provide the low-cost power that is a vital part of the Shore Power partnership, which will allow cruise ships to power their operations from land-based resources when docked,” said Richard M. Kessel, President and CEO of the New York Power Authority. “The shore power solution, which is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s green agenda, will eliminate the impact of ship-power emissions on the local neighborhood. In turn, that will help make the cruise ships good neighbors while in port.”
“We know that local air quality is an important issue in New York, so we are pleased to join with support to debut this environmental initiative,” said Alan Buckelew, President and CEO of Princess Cruises. “As the pioneer of shore power in the cruise industry since 2001, we have been dedicated to utilizing this technology wherever the shoreside infrastructure can be created.”
“Cunard Line is proud to call New York our North America homeport – a long-held tradition continued by Queen Mary 2, our flagship, which calls on Brooklyn several months each year – and we are delighted to join the recent advancements in shore power,” said Peter Shanks, President, Cunard Line. “Since 2006, we offered our guests a state-of-the-art cruise vacation experience through the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and now the ability to connect to shore power will enable us to contribute even more to the overall air quality of the city.”
“In addition to creating jobs, boosting tourism and giving our guests the chance to experience all that Brooklyn has to offer, I promised our cruise ship terminal would be state of the art,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Thanks to the Shore Power partnership, Brooklyn’s Red Hook terminal is the first port on the East Coast using this cutting edge green-power technology. This project will keep our working waterfront working and give our guests the chance to feel the power of Brooklyn – literally.”
“I commend the New York City Economic Development Corp., the Port Authority, the New York Power Authority and the cruise ship companies for working together to finalize this agreement,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “Using shore power will improve the air quality in Brooklyn, and enable us to have a modern, green cruise terminal that will serve as a model for the cruise industry in the U.S. and beyond.”
“The benefits of this plan are clear: cruise ships docked in Brooklyn will emit less pollution when they draw their power from the shore, rather than using on-board diesel engines,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “It is good news for our entire community that this job-creating environmental project is moving forward.”
“With this agreement to bring shore power to the cruise terminal, Brooklyn can finally breathe a little easier. The noxious diesel fumes that cruise ships in port have been spewing are bad for Brooklynites and bad for the environment,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “I have worked with Council Member Brad Lander, Congress Member Nydia Velazquez, our colleagues in government and the entire community to advocate for an expedited agreement to implement shore power. I commend Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo, the Port Authority, the New York Power Authority, the Economic Development Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Princess Cruises and Cunard Line for working together to find this important solution.”
“I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Christopher O. Ward, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York Power Authority and Princess Cruises and Cunard Line for working together to introduce shore power to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal,” said Assembly Member Joan L. Millman. “Making a less-polluting, readily available power source less expensive than a highly polluting fuel is good public policy and economically sensible. This change would allow for not only a cleaner city, but also would make our city more attractive to businesses by making our ports more cost-competitive.”
“Reducing fossil fuel emissions at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal has been a long standing priority during my time representing the people of Red Hook. Recently, I have worked closely with community groups and individuals such as the Red Hook Civic Association, Red Hook Economic Development and a number of concerned residents,” said Councilmember Sara M. Gonzalez. “I applaud the Mayor, the Port Authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York Power Authority and Princess Cruises and Cunard Line for reaching an agreement that will improve air quality and significantly reduce the health risks for thousands of Red Hook families while providing jobs and increased economic activity.”
“Brooklyn residents are breathing easier already. With shore power, cruise ships at the Red Hook Cruise Terminal will keep bringing tourists and economic benefits – and stop bringing air pollution and asthma. I’m very pleased that the Mayor, Port Authority, EPA, EDC, NYPA, and Princess Cruises and Cunard Line were finally able to reach this landmark agreement,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “Credit to all of them, and to the residents of the Columbia Waterfront, Red Hook, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens who kept working for this day.”
“With the implementation of shore-based electrical power at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, New Yorkers living near the port will be able to breathe a little easier now,” said Councilman Michael Nelson, chair of the Council’s Waterfronts Committee. “I commend Mayor Bloomberg in keeping to his commitment of creating a cleaner, greener New York by helping port neighborhoods such as Red Hook improve their air quality. Furthermore, I commend the Port Authority and all other government agencies that worked hard in bringing cold-ironing to neighborhoods in Brooklyn that are starving for cleaner air.”
“Enabling cruise ships in Brooklyn to use electrical power when in port instead of burning diesel fuel will improve local air quality and move us one step closer to achieving our PlaNYC goal of reducing citywide carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030,” said Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Sustainability Director David Bragdon. “As we release the update to PlaNYC next week, we will continue to look for new, innovative ways to reduce emissions like this one.”
“This new partnership will substantially improve air quality in the surrounding communities,” said Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway. “Though a necessary part of urban life, we were reminded just today by the Department of Health’s New York City Community Air Survey that the burning of fossil fuels can impact public health, leading to higher rates of asthma or other heart or lung conditions. By switching their power source from diesel engines to the electrical grid, Princess and Cunard will substantially reduce harmful contaminants, like carbon emissions and fine particulate matter. It shows once again that by working together, we can not only improve the air we breathe, but do it in a way that protects New York City’s economy.”
A recent economic impact study of cruise passenger and crew spending in New York City found that passengers and crew spent an estimated $144.6 million in New York City in 2010. The study, conducted by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, also showed that the number of ships and passengers using both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals continues to increase, with the majority of cruise passengers coming from outside the city. In 2009, the City’s cruise terminals serviced 445,718 passengers and 181 ship calls, and 582,979 passengers and 241 ship calls in 2010.
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and managed by New York City Economic Development Corporation.
This initiative is part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the strategy will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats.