by Photo courtesy of the Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego accepted a $2.7 million grant from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District to provide incentive funding to support clean technology investments, especially in underserved communities. 

The grant will partially fund electrical upgrades to power two new all-electric mobile harbor cranes that will help improve public health and reduce diesel particulates in the Portside communities of Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights, Logan Heights, and West National City. The cranes will be the first of their kind in North America when they begin operating at the Port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal (TAMT) in summer 2023.

Chairman Dan Malcolm, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners said the new electric cranes will be a game changer for our communities as well as the environment and our regional economy.

“We are happy to have this critical funding from San Diego County APCD to ensure we have clean and reliable power to support the new cargo handling equipment,” said Chairman Dan Malcolm, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “These cranes will replace our old diesel crane, eliminating a major source of pollution at our terminal. We will also gain a competitive edge over other West Coast ports. All of this means improved public health and air quality, more opportunities for the Port, and more jobs for our region. Everybody wins.”

California Climate Investments and the Community Air Protection Program (CAPP) made this funding possible, according to the Port of San Diego. The California Climate Investments is a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars into reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment. CAPP was established under Assembly Bill (AB) 617 to improve the air quality in communities that have been disproportionately burdened by air pollution.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Nora Vargas said Assembly Bill 617 would provide long overdue funding for the portside community to support cleaner air technology. 

“Our Portside communities have been disproportionately impacted by a lack of investment and poor air quality for decades,” said Vice Chair Nora Vargas, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and San Diego County Air Pollution Control District Chair. “The addition of charging infrastructure for electric cranes is a huge step forward that will reduce diesel particulates and improve air quality for the families and children of this community.”

The conversion from a diesel-powered crane to an all-electric crane system is a step toward achieving a long-term goal of the Port’s Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS) – 100 percent zero-emission cargo handling equipment by 2030 – and is ahead of California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations.

According to the port, the new crane system will represent the heaviest lift capability of any crane system currently in place on the West Coast and will enable the Port to attract new business opportunities due to the increased maximum lift capacity – up to 400 metric tons (MT) versus the 100 MT lifting capacity of the Port’s diesel crane.

Most of the heavy-lift cargoes destined for this region weigh more than 200 MT, including larger pieces of solar, wind, and industrial energy equipment as well as project cargoes.

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