Another California port announces zero emission plan

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Port of Hueneme
Port of Hueneme aims to make operations zero emissions by 2030.

Port of Hueneme aims to make operations zero emissions by 2030, an initiative that is likely to require an investment in electrical charging infrastructure and equipment of tens of millions of dollars. The port, the only deep water harbor between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, already has more than $100 million in investments and grants in queue.

"We have been working on the Blueprint since 2021," said Giles Pettifor, port environmental manager. "Now that we have funding and support from the state, our commercial partners and we can make our goal of ZE a reality, and years ahead of State of California ZE goals."

The intent is to have the port's cranes all plugging in, vessels be zero emission at berth through shoreside power and emission control systems, and transition handling equipment and port vehicles to zero emission by 2030. The Port of Hueneme, which consistently ranks among the top 10 U.S. ports for autos and fresh produce, plans to partner closely with trucking on goals around transitioning away from fossil fuels and the ocean carrier industry on the movement to green, decarbonized bunker fuels, but this is a separate effort from the port's zero emission blueprint.

"We're thrilled to move forward in this endeavor and to work hand in hand with our trades and with our community to come up with zero emission solutions and to hopefully be the first Port in the U.S.A. to be a zero emission port because of the size and scale of who we are," said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director for the Port of Hueneme.

Beginning in 2021, the port – located between Santa Barbara and Santa Monica – conducted a two-year zero emissions energy study to decide which clean fuels could power the port in the future thanks to funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The port looked at two future clean fuels, electrical grid power and hydrogen powered fuel cells. The study looked in detail at all the equipment on port, and concluded electrical grid power is the best future clean fuel to power the port toward a zero emission future.

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In 2022, the port received federal funding to develop a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan under the broader climate, energy and air quality program known as Port of Hueneme, Reducing Emissions, Supporting Health (PHRESH). This program reflects the port's ongoing commitment to reducing emissions and supporting public health and improving air quality.

The port claims its timeline is realistic based on current projections, but is dependent on significant external funding and equipment availability and will not include the vessels sailing the ocean or drayage trucking.

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