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Seattle requires all homeporting cruise ships to use shore power by 2027

PHOTO: PORT OF SEATTLE CRUISE_shore_power_plugs_Seattle.jpg
Port of Seattle will require homeporting ships to be shore power capable and to use shore power
Seattle became the first port in the US to independently require all homeporting cruise ships be shore power capable and use shore power.

The order passed Tuesday by the Port of Seattle Commission takes effect in the 2027 cruise season, three years before the port’s previous goal of 2030.

'Ensuring all homeported cruise ships utilize shore power by incorporating a requirement in our commercial agreements, the port continues to demonstrate how we can generate economic opportunities while minimizing our impact on communities and the climate,' said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who sponsored the order.

2030 goal becomes 2027 requirement

'In passing this order, the commission turns the port’s 2030 goal of universal shore power use into a 2027 requirement, which is only possible due to the significant investments made by the cruise industry and the port on both the ships and shoreside facilities.'

He added: 'Marketing such investments should also appeal to the environmental interests of travelers who have chosen to cruise to Alaska.'

'Given our sustained investments in shore power, we must ensure that homeported vessels plug in when they are berthed at our piers,' said Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed, who co-sponsored the order. 'This order is a robust policy that demonstrates our commitment to accountability and oversight of this sustainability strategy.'

Emissions reduced 66% on average

Plugging into shore power reduces diesel emissions from cruise ships at berth by 66% on average. During the 2023 season, cruise ships using shore power avoided emitting 2,700 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 0.75 metric tons of diesel particulate matter — the equivalent of nearly 650 passenger cars driving for a year.

Pier 66 electrification imminent

The port is finalizing the electrification of Pier 66 and plans to connect cruise ships to shore power there this summer. This milestone will make shore power available at all three Seattle cruise berths, which will achieve the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy goal to electrify all cruise berths by 2030, six years early. It will make Seattle one of the first cruise ports to offer shore power at all of its multiple berths.