The Port of Los Angeles this month became the first port worldwide to provide Alternative Maritime Power (AMP)—shore-side electric power, also called “cold ironing” (i.e., shutting down all combustion)—to three separate cruise lines. In recent weeks, ships from Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have all taken advantage of the AMP Mobile technology developed specifically for the World Cruise Center.
Using AMP, vessels connect (plug-in) to a clean shore-side electrical power source while docked, enabling them to shut down their diesel-powered auxiliary generators, resulting in a significant reduction in emissions.
The Port of Los Angeles has three AMP Mobiles, which were designed for the World Cruise Center by Port engineers and Cavotec, a global engineering firm. With 100 feet of lateral movement capability and a remote-controlled arm to adjust the cable crane arm to changing tides and the location of power connections on cruise ships, the AMP Mobile versatility allows for a variety of cruise ship configurations.
The World Cruise Center is also the only port where two cruise ships can be connected simultaneously. Cruise ships utilize either 6.6 kilovolts (kV) or 11 kV electrical power distribution systems to plug into shore-side power; the Port of Los Angeles can now accommodate either. Currently the power demand of the cruise ships calling the Port of Los Angeles is anywhere between 8 to 13 megawatts of power. A seven megawatt load is equivalent to producing enough electricity for approximately 1,000 homes.
The Port’s AMP system installed at the World Cruise Center is capable of delivering up to 40 megawatts of power, with 20 megawatts of power delivery capacity to each of the two different ships.
In 2004, the Port of Los Angeles was the first to use AMP technology for in-service container ships. Three major container terminals currently have AMP capabilities and more are coming on line later this year.