well-connected ships

Plug a ship into an electrical outlet like you’d plug in a toaster? Yes, it’s possible! And better yet, it’s good for the environment.

At the Port of Montreal, the Camilla Desgagnés, a wintering ship owned by Desgagnés Group, spent the winter plugged in at Berth M, along Bickerdike Basin and across from Habitat 67. A laid-up vessel, in other words an isolated ship being stored for the winter, still needs to be heated to accommodate its security guard and prevent freezing. 

In 2015, the Port of Montreal decided to move ahead and extend shore power service, not only for wintering vessels but for cruise ships as well. This major project requires an investment of  $11 million, provided by the federal government ($5 million) and the Quebec government ($3 million) with the Port of Montreal covering the remaining $3 million. 

Cruise ships, a whole other story

Peter Manolov, the electrical engineer managing the shore-power project
at the Port of Montreal

“Plugging in a cruise ship is a whole different story!” according to  Peter Manolov, the electrical engineer managing the project at the Port of Montreal. A cruise ship is like a small city: thousands of residents, cabins with adjoining bathrooms, restaurants, facilities ranging from a theatre hall, spa, pool and gym to a beauty salon, etc. In short, the amount of energy a cruise ship consumes is roughly the same as the Port of Montreal’s total energy consumption, estimated Peter Manolov.

Plus $10 million of the $11 million is allocated to shore power for cruise ships at Alexandra Pier. To ensure an adequate power supply, Hydro-Québec will install a new 25 kV feeder line to supply the new substation that will be set up this summer.

Shore power is a very effective way to reduce air emissions from marine diesel engines. It improves local air quality by enabling ships to shut down their engines and connect to an electrical grid supplied by renewable energy sources. Total greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions resulting from this project are expected to reach 2,800 tonnes annually: 1,300 tonnes from cruise ship connections and 1,500 tonnes from wintering ships.

The Port of Montreal is one of a group of nine ports that provide shore power in North American. The other Canadian members of this innovate group are the Ports of Vancouver and Halifax.