New Bedford Gets $1 M for Shore-side Power Electrification Project

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $1 million to the City of New Bedford’s Harbor Development Commission (HDC) to install 16 shore-side electric power pedestals on two fishing piers within New Bedford Harbor.

The project also will provide up to 100 rebates issued to commercial fisherman to partially offset the cost of purchasing and installing necessary transfer switches to adapt their vessels to receive shore-side power.

"Reducing diesel emissions is an effective way to improve air quality. Fewer diesel emissions helps people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems to breathe easier,” said Curt Spaulding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “This project will help bring cleaner air to New Bedford residents and visitors alike.”

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution, especially in urban areas. The Northeast has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, including a childhood asthma rate above 10 percent in all six New England states.

The EPA grant will allow HDC to install 16 new verified marine power pedestals that will provide shore-side electricity to approximately 100 vessels at two piers in New Bedford Harbor. The electrification technology will provide power to vital systems, thereby eliminating virtually all marine engine idling while at berth resulting in significant reductions of annual nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, sulfur oxide, and greenhouse gas emissions.

“By having electic power, we are making the port greener. The VMs will be able to run without a generator needed to turn on computers and other vessel operations,” said Capt. Paul Lang, Marine Operations manager for Fleet Fisheries.

The grant will cover 100 percent of the cost of purchase and installation of each pedestal and also provide up to $230,000 in rebates to retrofit vessels with switches to enable the vessel to receive shore-side power.

"The EPA's support of this project enables the Port to upgrade its commercial fishing infrastructure, best serve fishermen, and improve air quality. It is a win for both industry and our environment and we look forward to our partnership with the EPA to bring shore side power to the Port of New Bedford." said Kristin Decas, Director of the Port of New Bedford.

Other New England entities receiving grants this year include Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Town of Fairfield, Conn., and Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management. In addition, under the state clean diesel grant program, EPA is awarding $1.7 million to the New England state environmental agencies for clean diesel projects in New England.

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