Pasha, MarAd advance port microgrid project in LA

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Maritime Administration’s (MarAd) Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program (META) and Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals (PST) recently entered the second quarter of progress powering microgrids at the Port of Los Angeles following a $1.5 million cooperative agreement in spring 2022.

PST is an independent operating subsidiary of The Pasha Group. The alternative energy demonstration project for powering microgrids is aimed at decreasing air emissions from marine terminal operations at the Port of Los Angeles.

In 2016, PST partnered with the port to secure $14.5 million from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop the Pasha Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project, a multi-faceted effort focused on the utilization of electric yard tractors, forklifts and on-road drayage trucks as an introduction to zero emission vehicles. It also included a solar system, battery energy electric storage system, and prototype emissions-capturing projects.

Port of Los Angeles photo

The cooperative agreement with META expands on the Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project by incorporating additional green energy sources to charge the current 2.4 MWh battery storage system. These energy sources include a 1-MW DC solar system, the outfitting of three ship-to-shore container cranes with regenerative braking capability, and an 18-kW WindWall micro-turbine that will be installed on top of one of these cranes — the first WindWall micro-turbine to be used in commercial application. Combined, these energy sources, along with an effective energy storage system and a microgrid controller, are expected to reduce emissions substantially and provide resiliency to the Port of Los Angeles.

This system is designed to enable islanding of the Pasha Green Omni Terminal. The battery storage system has enough energy to unload a ship in island mode, while the solar array is estimated to produce 81 percent of the Pasha Green Omni Terminal’s current requirement. In addition, the installation of harmonic filters on the ship-to-shore cranes will allow braking regeneration power to charge the battery storage system and lower the crane’s energy requirement by 45 percent.

The microturbine being installed takes advantage of the crane’s height where winds are more favorable, resulting in increased energy production. Once the proof of concept of using this technology in this application is completed, larger WindWalls can be installed to provide additional energy to meet future energy needs as more terminal equipment is converted over to electric.

“The Maritime Administration is proud that our Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance (META) Program is supporting Pasha’s microgrid project at the Port of Los Angeles, which uses renewable energy sources to support cargo handling operations,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “This is just one example of how renewable energy can help power the maritime and transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel dependence while combating climate change.”

“As one of the nation’s leaders in transportation and logistics management, Pasha is uniquely positioned to demonstrate the ability to integrate microgrid capabilities across all aspects of maritime and port terminal operations,” said George Pasha IV, president and CEO, The Pasha Group. “Taking place at the busiest container port in North America, this microgrid expansion project will seek to deploy additional technologies to expand the microgrid’s capabilities to interact with all aspects of port operations, providing a road map to create an energy net zero terminal that can then be applied to other terminals across the U.S.”

– The Pasha Group

By Rich Miller