The Port of Galveston together with Shell Trading, Carnival Corporation, CenterPoint Energy, Royal Caribbean Group and Texas A&M University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work towards potential solutions to develop environmentally beneficial shore power at the Port of Galveston. The port is looking to install shore power system for cruise vessels that dock at the port. It is understandable because the port is a busy cruise destination located on the Gulf of Mexico handling about a million passengers every year. Shell and CenterPoint Energy will provide their expertise in grid enhancements, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Group are the intended users of the technology and Texas A&M will do the technical feasibility study for the port.
Royal Caribbean Group is has announced it will retrofit its cruise vessel “Allure of the Seas” for the use of shore power when it becomes available at the new Galveston Cruise Terminal and the ship will homeport at the terminal justifying the business case for the installation. Moreover, Carnival Corporation is also planning to homeport their latest ship “Carnival Jubilee” at Galveston when it is commissioned in 2023. It will run on LNG and will be equipped to use shore power at Galveston.
Shore Power in the US has mainly been concentrated on the west coast, particularly in California and Washington. This recent development is a sign of encouragement that the shore power market is now set to expand elsewhere in the country as individual states race to meet their carbon neutrality targets and make use of the fundings and grants made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Texas A&M University is also studying the potential for plugging cargo vessels to shore power at the Port of Galveston in the future.
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