Advancing Electrification Initiatives at the Port of Anacortes

April 24, 2024 | News

Electrification has been a central focus for the Port of Anacortes over the past several years, and a crucial step forward in our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship. As a part of this initiative, the Port has been exploring various avenues to modernize infrastructure and reduce our carbon footprint, including performing greenhouse gas analyses, purchasing 100% green energy, and most recently, installing EV charging stations at the marina.

On March 19 the Port of Anacortes Board of Commissioners held a public Commission work study session focused on electrification at the Port and the potential future of decarbonization. The meeting featured presentations from notable regional experts, including Shannon Idso from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Aldo Ferrufino from Jacobs Engineering Group, and Shaun Gibbs from the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County.

This work study session underscored the importance of electrification at the Port and highlighted the multiple economic and environmental benefits it brings to our community and region.

Idso highlighted PNNL’s work in maritime decarbonization, emphasizing the importance of port industry electrification and introducing relevant electrification technologies. She also discussed PNNL’s ongoing development of an electrification handbook for ports, a collaborative effort in which the Port of Anacortes has been involved.

Ferrufino, who is the Regional Ports & Maritime Leader for Jacobs Engineering, shared his company’s approach to decarbonization and electrification. He provided background for energy transition as a whole and stressed the importance of diversifying energy sources.

Gibbs addressed the challenges related to energy demand in the Skagit Valley and shared steps the Port can take to manage these challenges.

The environmental benefits of electrification align with the Port’s mission, and implementing this initiative is one of our top priorities. We recognize the importance of and challenges inherent in energy transition, especially for a large and complex organization, and have worked in recent years to plan for and seek funding to support electrification.

Last year, the Port received $500,000 in funding through a port electrification grant to electrify Port equipment, infrastructure, and technology and install zero-emission shore-to-ship power. This year, the Port has sought additional opportunities to advance electrification efforts and is working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to design the new state port electrification grant program. The final 2024 state budget includes an additional $1.5 million in funding for the Port’s electrification efforts. This additional funding will be contingent on the outcome of the Climate Commitment Act initiative.

The Port’s electrification initiative supports our overall operations as well as the surrounding community and region by enhancing modern infrastructure that sustains jobs and commerce while reducing our carbon emissions. As stewards of both the economy and environment, achieving this balance is central to our mission today and for the future.