Pulse news magazine

Volume 29, June 2020

Electrifying ports with a zero emissions future

Taking our green power a step further by making it available as a power solution in marine ports.

After introducing its first electric-hybrid systems for New York City transit buses in 1998, BAE Systems has become a revered pioneer in heavy-duty vehicle electrification. More than 20 years later, our electric drive systems power more than 12,000 buses, commercial and military trucks, and marine vessels around the globe. As a pace setter in transport electrification, we are taking our green power a step further by making it available as a power solution in marine ports.

BAE Systems’ electric drive marine vessels can be found across the nation, moving passengers on the West Coast in San Francisco and Seattle, and transporting cargo on the East Coast between New York and Connecticut. Compared with their traditional counterparts, electric hybrid and fuel cell electric powered vessels are quieter, require less maintenance, and perhaps most importantly, decrease emissions to help keep our waterways clean for marine life. It only makes sense to continue greening our transportation process once the vessel is docked.

Equipment, vehicles, and marine vessels that burn diesel fuel are the primary source of combustion-related emissions at port facilities. Because of the environmental and health impacts of diesel emissions, many ports have developed air quality programs to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and limit the effect it has on climate change. To help mitigate the effects and meet emission reduction plans set forth by states such as California, electric-powered equipment will need to replace diesel-powered container handlers that facilitate the loading, unloading, and transfer of cargo.

That’s where BAE Systems comes in. The same clean technology developed to power vehicles and vessels can efficiently power rubber tired gantry cranes, switcher locomotives, and stationary power applications. Today, our proven electric-hybrid system generates clean, quiet power and stores it in the energy storage system. When needed, power is then drawn to move the bus or vessel. The same compact solution is at the core of our HybriGen Energy Module, which can provide up to 300kW of power on demand for a port’s heavily used container handling equipment. Similar to our vehicles, the energy generated during braking conditions can be converted to electricity to recharge the energy storage system, thus decreasing fuel use.

Electrifying the transportation system offers numerous benefits, such as reducing dependence on fossil-based sources and lowering noise levels and emissions for employees working in and around the port. Pollution at marine ports is a widespread concern. In California, ports are facing pressing regulations to work toward zero emissions. More than 40 percent of the nation’s imported goods arrive at California docks, and while they positively impact our economy, they negatively impact our environment. Not only does HEM save fuel, emissions, and maintenance, but its world-class reliability significantly improves equipment up time.

We’ve been transporting cargo and passengers on electric-hybrid vessels in the water and vehicles on our roads, and now we’re closing the loop by powering port equipment with efficient electric power. We live in a connected world, and making the connection to a zero emissions future will be the legacy of BAE Systems’ Power and Propulsion Solutions business.

By Carol Gorenflo, Communications, Endicott, New York