Plug It In! NYC Cruise Ships Getting Greener Energy

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Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 is one of the ships that calls at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. (Photo CC flickr user Jill Clardy)

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Cruise ships that dock at New York's Brooklyn Cruise Terminal will get a little greener. New York will connect three berths for the massive vessels with plug-in power from the city's electrical grid, allowing the ships to shut off their diesel generators.

"By bringing the first cruise ship shore power operation on the East Coast to Red Hook [Brooklyn], we'll lower fossil fuel emissions and improve air quality for local residents," NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

The City says, cruise ships typically berth for up to eleven hours while passengers load and unload. The Mayor's office estimates the shift from high-sulfur diesel to electric grid power for as many as three ships at a time could result in the elimination of 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The total cost of construction to outfit the terminal with electric grid power supply for the cruise ships is $15 million. Construction will begin later this year and be completed in 2012. The plan also requires the three cruise lines that call at Red Hook's Brooklyn Cruise Terminal to retrofit their ships.

In 2010, the City's cruise terminals in Manhattan and Brooklyn served 582,979 passengers and 241 ship calls.

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