British Columbia

Victoria considers shore power to reduce cruise ship emissions

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is reconsidering adding shore power to Ogden Point, which would allow cruise ships to plug in and turn off their engines while in port.

James Bay residents say shore power would reduce noise and emissions

Victoria's Ogden Point cruise ship terminal sits next to the James Bay neighbourhood. (Greater Victoria Harbour Authority/Facebook)

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is reconsidering adding shore power to Ogden Point, which would allow cruise ships to plug in and turn off their engines while in port. 

The GVHA studied shore power at the Ogden Point terminal a few years ago, but at the time found it was too expensive. 

Since then, the cruise business in Victoria has grown, and there's also a push to keep ships in the city longer by becoming a home port, instead of a port of call where ships are berthed for five to 16 hours.  

"There's new technology that is being made available and I think it is incumbent upon us to consider all options," said Ian Robertson, the CEO for the harbour authority. 

Port Metro Vancouver was the first city in Canada to use the technology, in 2009. It says it has saved 2,656 tonnes of carbon dioxide from 76 ships. In 2015, 227 ships visited Victoria.

Robertson said adding shore power at Ogden Point would require investment from higher levels of government.

Residents encouraged

Residents of the James Bay neighbourhood around the cruise ship terminal have long called for more to be done to reduce diesel fumes. The Save James Bay group is circulating a petition calling for the installation of shore power.

"It's encouraging in the sense that they are looking at it," said Luke Wilson, a member of Save James Bay. "We'd be much more encouraged if an implementation date were set."

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority will reveal more about its plans for changes at Ogden Point at a community meeting on Wednesday

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