Princess Cruises made history when the cruise line introduced its revolutionary shore power program and began operations in partnership with the City and Borough of Juneau and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company in the summer of 2001.
Now, 20 years later when Princess Cruises vessels arrive at the Franklin Dock, ships continue to “plug in” to local surplus hydroelectric power and turn off the diesel engines, reducing the impact of visible air emissions and the cruise line’s carbon footprint in an effort applauded by local government officials and the residents of the capital city.
The 20th anniversary milestone was recognised as Majestic Princess made her maiden call to the port of Juneau and commissioned to connect to the Juneau electrical grid.
Commenting, Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president, said: “Shore power in Juneau has been a significant win-win situation, not only for Princess but also for the customers of Alaska Electric Light and Power Company and the residents of Juneau who have been incredible partners over the last 20 years.
“Our beneficial collaboration has paved the way for the cruise industry to reduce air emissions and allow cruise ships to ‘plug in.'”
In addition to this investment, for the past 20 years, every dollar spent by Princess for purchasing electrical energy in Juneau has been credited to a cost of power adjustment To date, this has benefitted the Juneau community by $8.5 million dollars.
Shore power, also known as “cold ironing,” enables ships to connect to local electric power and turn off their diesel engines. The specialized shore side equipment includes a specially designed transformer, and a sophisticated system of cables, circuit breakers and control circuits. Shore-based electricity then runs all onboard services during the day-long calls.
Each year, Princess ships plug in more than 300 shore power connections. This ground-breaking technology has now grown and is used by various cruise lines in port cities including Seattle (2005), Vancouver (2009), San Diego (2010), San Francisco (2010), Los Angeles (2011), New York (2012) and Halifax (2014), as well as internationally in Shanghai and Kristiansand, Norway, with more and more port cities becoming shore power enabled.
The length of time needed to connect a ship to shore power and shut down the vessel’s diesel generator is approximately 40 minutes after the ship has been secured at the dock. Once connected, the ship’s engines are powered down and the ships relies on the local power system for all ship’s services while in port.