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Published: 2018-01-11

Grant Brown, Vice President Marketing, PBES, on the onshore power supply

Grant Brown, Vice President Marketing, PBES, on the onshore power supply

Photo: Grant Brown

Originally published in HR E-Zine 5/2017 on page 15.

"PBES has received orders from ports in China to power on-shore equipment such as hybrid rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTG). More recently, ports expressed some interest in the idea of using large scale energy storage to provide shore power to ships. The biggest advantage is the fact that a battery can supply large amounts of power at lower installed cost than modifying and building the infrastructure required to provide the same level of power using traditional transmission methods. The battery can be charged at night or during off-peak times and in certain locations the off-peak power is extremely inexpensive. The use of energy storage in an RTG crane can reduce fuel burn by up to 70% and achieve payback in under two years! These operational savings are very attractive and only get better if the government can offer some environmental breaks. A similar case could be made for OPS using energy storage as the backbone. In comparison to mobile generators or LNG-fired generators, there is no additional carbon footprint. I believe this is an important note. LNG in particular has been touted as a clean fuel, but due to methane slip (the escapement of unburned gas during production, handling, transportation and use), natural gas is actually far more polluting than previously thought. A completely clean power system will be an advantage in the future. With this in mind, PBES has developed an integrated solar and energy storage solution as a package that can provide 100% clean power to all types of applications. In northern climates this could be used with wind or hydro power. We are currently deploying systems to hurricane ravaged Barbuda and Puerto Rico to help rebuild their infrastructure, including a small port. The power they produce using the new system will cost roughly one-half of what it cost before the hurricane destroyed their infrastructure. It is a demonstration of how energy storage is helping to further move power generation away from fossil fuels and the associated cost and pollution. As mentioned above, Chinese ports are already implementing hybrid technology and have been doing so for at least four years. Rotterdam is also working on other forms of emissions reduction technology. Norway is leading the way with shore power in the form of power banks that supply battery power to all-electric ferries. There is a lot going on in the sector (more than I could possible follow) and it seems to be a global trend. The leader is Norway and others will follow; the same as we have seen in the use of energy storage in ships. I personally only see upside to using battery powered OPS in commercial ports, especially those that are near sensitive environmental areas or that have a large number of ships in a contained area such as a fjord. The reduction in pollutants for the residents of the area will benefit the people and the environment. It is important that it be done in a thoughtful manner using a clean technology that allows not only environmental benefits, but also financial ones as well."
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