San Francisco aims to provide plug-in power to docked cruise ships

As San Francisco completes a new cruise-ship terminal, it plans also to build a facility to provide electric power to docked ships. Shoreside power — in effect, extension cords that plug idling ships into hydro- and solar-generated electricity — could reduce harmful emissions from the ships by up to 80 percent, said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesperson Tony Winnicker. The Port of San Francisco estimates that in 2004, 90 tons of diesel soot and nitrogen oxide were emitted by docked cruise ships. Juneau and Seattle have already implemented shoreside power. Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line, is updating a number of its ships to be able to plug in. Carnival’s Tom Dow said San Francisco’s plan “will be a win for the environment, Bay Area residents, the cruise ship industry, and our customers.”