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Port of Virginia becomes first USEC port powered by 100% clean energy

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NORFOLK : The Port of Virginia is now powering all its terminals with electricity from clean resources and accelerating its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040.

By utilising clean electricity, the US port has effectively reduced carbon emissions by 45% per container, addressing both scope 1 and scope 2 emissions.

Scope 1 encompasses exhaust emissions from equipment, while scope 2 involves emissions generated from the electricity used to operate electric equipment and supply energy to port facilities, including lighting, heating, and air conditioning.

Port of Virginia has surpassed its initial goal of utilising clean energy for operations by 2032, achieving this milestone eight years earlier.

“Virginia is the first major US East Coast port to power its entire operation using 100% clean electricity. In doing so, the port is building upon its reputation as America’s Most Modern Gateway,” highlighted Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).

Presently, the port employs 116 electric stacking cranes, four electric rail cranes, and 27 electric ship-to-shore cranes. As the port progresses with the optimisation of the North Berth at Norfolk International Terminals, the existing fleet of all-electric equipment is expected to expand. The planned expansion will result in an increased fleet size, reaching 152 electric stacking cranes, seven electric rail cranes, and 31 electric ship-to-shore cranes.

Stephen A. Edwards said, “Our cargo operations and overall performance are world-class, and we are advancing sustainability goals that are aligned with how we operate. This is a modern approach to meeting our environmental targets and we are setting ourselves apart as a result.”

The shift to clean electricity is a result of a Power Purchase Agreement with Dominion Energy and a collaboration with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, which guarantee the sufficient generation and allocation of clean energy for the port to meet all existing and future operational megawatt needs.

Simultaneously, the port is investing US$220 million in establishing the inaugural offshore wind logistics hub on the US East Coast at Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT). This initiative supports Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, the largest offshore wind project in America to date, featuring a 176-unit wind turbine farm off Virginia Beach. PMT is currently receiving and storing the initial major components for this groundbreaking project.

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