What is shore power?

Shore power is electrification of marine vessels at port to help more customers access clean electricity in a cost-effective manner. By extending Entergy’s electricity grid to reach vessels, customers are able to replace fossil fuel end-use of these vessels in port with cleaner, inexpensive Entergy electricity.  

Emissions from vessels running auxiliary fossil fuel engines at port can be significant contributors to air pollution.   Exposure to air pollution associated with emissions from ocean-going vessels and other diesel engines at ports (including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sodium oxides, and carbon emissions) can contribute to significant health problems—including premature mortality,  heart and lung disease, increased cancer risk, and increased respiratory symptoms – especially for children, the elderly, outdoor workers, and other sensitive populations 

Shore power is used by marine vessels to connect to the local electricity grid and turn off auxiliary engines while at dock. When using shore power, auxiliary systems, such as lighting, air conditioning, and pumps are powered by the local electrical grid. Shore power typically produces zero onsite emissions.   

Entergy serves 7 of the top 20 ports in the nation and ports are a vital part of the economy in Entergy’s service territories. Shore power is most effective when applied at terminals and ports with a high percentage of frequently returning vessels,  which makes Entergy territories ideal for a shore power offering. 

Environmental benefits

Shore power can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships at dock. Because shore power gives marine vessels access to the scale and emissions portfolio of a utility generation fleet, shore power in Entergy’s service areas is estimated to potentially achieve as much as a 42% net reduction in carbon emissions, a 48% net reduction in sulfur oxides, and a 98% net reduction in nitrogen oxides.  

Entergy Corporation became the first U.S. utility to voluntarily commit to capping greenhouse gas emissions nearly two decades ago. And recently, the company committed to reducing its carbon emission rate by 50% below year 2000 levels by 2030.  Entergy operates one of the cleanest large-scale generation fleets in the country today. 

“We’ve been a significant part of the clean-energy dialogue for over two decades. Our customer and community expectations are rapidly changing across a wide variety of areas, including the reduction of greenhouse gasses, and this is an example of how we can help meet those ever-evolving needs. We’re proving it’s possible to eliminate emissions while continuing to provide a reliable product to our customer base by striking that balance between affordability, reliability and sustainability. Our company is once again on the leading-edge of the industry and we’re continuing to do it the right way.” Leo Denault, chairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation 

The amount of time actually connected, power consumption rate, energy costs, and total time at berth relate to the overall effectiveness of shore power. Because these factors must be evaluated for each solution, emission reductions can vary. 

Financial aspects

With Entergy operating territories offering some of the lowest electricity rates in the United States, electricity is cost-competitive with fossil fuel for vessel owners. In addition, shore power can also reduce run-time of engines leading to lower wear & tear, operational costs, and maintenance needs. As a result, customers may see significant operational and maintenance savings. 

The cost of a shore power system consists of both fixed investment and operational costs. Fixed investment constitutes shoreside and shipside investment in shore power infrastructure, including installing high-voltage power, transformers, switchboard and control panel, electrical distribution system, cable reel system, and frequency converter. The two largest expenses associated with shore power infrastructure are conversion equipment and quayside supply of high-voltage power, accounting for about half of total fixed investment.