October 1, 2004
Princess goes to shore power in Seattle
Princess Cruises will turn off the engines of its ships when they dock in Seattle next summer and "plug in" to the city's electric utility, which relies on hydroelectric power.
The shore power project, similar to an arrangement Princess started in the city of Juneau in 2001, is designed to help reduce air emissions.
Announced yesterday as part of the West Coast Diesel Emissions Reductions Collaborative, the program will enable Princess ships in Seattle to operate with power provided by Seattle City Light. The power will travel to the ship from a specially designed transformer designed to supply electricity to run all onboard services during the day-long calls.
"This initiative is being made possible through a unique collaboration of public and private entities, the availability of cost-effective hydroelectric power ashore, and the fact that the technology exists on our Alaska bound ships which piloted this program," said Dean Brown, executive vice president, fleet operations for Princess Cruises and chairman of Princess Tours. "We are very pleased to be able to bring the shore power program to Seattle, and do our part to reduce fuel consumption."
Princess' shore power program made history when it first began operations in Juneau. The program debuted in summer 2001 and now the technology is featured on seven ships which use local hydroelectric power when in port.
To create this power system, Princess has outfitted its ships with a custom-built electrical connection cabinet that automatically connects the ship's electrical network to the local electrical network ashore. The electrical power is transmitted from the transformer ashore to the vessel via five flexible electrical cables. The actual cable connection on the vessel is a traditional, though quite large, male/female plug and socket, adapted from the Canadian mining industry. The cost to equip each Princess ship with the connection technology is approximately $500,000.
For the new Seattle project, Princess joins with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the Port of Seattle and Seattle City Light.
"When we first developed shore power, it was challenging project because it was the first of its kind and there was no existing blueprint we could use. Now in Seattle we can draw upon our past experience in Alaska to bring this successful environmental effort to a second venue, and show local residents that we care about the air quality issues that are important to all of us," said Brown.