Wading Into Unchartered Waters, City Launches First-Ever Green Port Initiative

The city is launching a new green port initiative in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that will allow cruise ships to power up from the city's electrical grid when docked.

Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6, said Red Hook has been lobbying for shore power, a cleaner energy source, for years.

"The cruise ships, when they are in port, will no longer have to idle their engines and burn diesel fuel to generate electricity for their vessels," he said. "They will now be able to effectively turn off the engines and plug in the ships to a cleaner, land-based electrical supply."

Hammerman said the final hurdle was establishing a reasonable electrical rate to charge the ships.

The mayor's office said infrastructure costs, estimated at more than $15 million, will be covered by the Port Authority, and a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and participating cruise lines โ€” Princess and Cunard โ€” will subsidize the cost of retrofitting their ships.

City officials said they believe the port would be the first of its kind in the U.S.