On-Shore Power

Since 2015 Saetaekni ltd has participated in a few projects related to On-Shore Connection of ships in harbour.

What is On-Shore Connection of ships? Practically, this means that ships can connect to electrical power from land and not use power aboard the ship, usually from an auxiliary engine.

What is gained by On-Shore Connection? In fact, there are many benefits. Firstly, pollution is decreased because in Iceland power from on shore is produced with renewable energy and without any pollution, while auxiliary engines in most cases burn fossil fuels with their excess pollution, with both contamination of the air, and their greenhouse effects. Secondly, there is no sound pollution, which can be quite important in such cases where harbours are situated in the vicinity of city centers.

But does this really matter? Can’t we just plug the ships in like we do with our home appliances? To that, one reply might be that in our homes power is measured in a few kW, while in ships it is measured in hundreds of kW, demonstrating how much more power is needed for the on-shore connection of ships.

As a matter of fact, there has been considerable progress in on-shore electricity in Iceland’s harbours in recent years. In most harbours there is a possibility of electricity of 400 volt / 50 Hz, thus making 67 kW power available for ships.

For smaller ships with this voltage and frequency, this power is sufficient.

The projects Saetaekni ltd has been working on are all in relation to establishing on-shore connections capable of handling ships needing considerably more power, or up to 800 kW, with the possility of using voltage of 440v / 690v / 60 Hz. A multitude of solutions are now available, so each place needs to find the appropriate ones.

On-Shore Connections projects

Among the On-Shore Connections projects Saetaekni ltd has worked on in the last few years are the following:

Associated Icelandic Ports (Faxaflóahafnir sf) have been working on On-Shore Connections for some years. Saetaekni ltd was a consultant for them in 2015 regarding the requirements of ships and possible improvements for On-Shore Connections in the harbours in the Faxaflói bay area. In 2019 Saetaekni ltd, furthermore, compiled a report called Electricity – Analysis, analysing things like how fossil fuels effect air quality, availability of On-Shore Connections in harbours in Iceland, and how High Voltage Shore Connection (HVSC) can improve the connectibilities of ships; finally the report gives a detailed account of developments in Iceland as well as abroad, while also discussing On-Shore Connections of the future, especially in regard to other sources of energy like hydrogen and wind power.

Hafnarfjörður Harbour (Hafnarfjarðarhöfn) has been quite keen on improving the availability of On-Shore Connections on its docks. In 2016 Saetaekni ltd wrote a memo on how to improve their current connection, together with environmental effects. In 2020 Saetaekni ltd, furthermore, compiled a 5 year plan of operations to make the harbour mostly electrical, as envisioned in a Memorandum that summer. Finally Saetaekni ltd is now working on the first phase of this plan, which is now being put up for tender on the European Economic Community.