Navy pilot program to connect ships to shore infrastructure as part of new agreement with Port of San Diego

Meredith Berger, right, is the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment. She leads the service’s climate efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Keifer Strombeck)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy has entered into a unique agreement with the Port of San Diego that will allow its ships to connect to and receive power from shore infrastructure. The deal, which the Navy says will “provide millions of dollars in further electrification efforts” for both the local military base and the city.

The agreement uses an energy credit program called the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Market (LCFS) run by the state of California, under which entities that use large amounts of fossil fuels must either increase their use of “plant carbon” or purchase credits. to continue using fossil fuels.

For the Navy’s purposes, the service will receive credits under the state program by powering its ships in port with California infrastructure, rather than generating power inside the ship. The state will then sell the credits to other entities and use some of the proceeds to finance various energy and utility improvement projects at the San Diego Naval Base.

“The Navy’s participation in this program will be the first-ever Department of Defense involvement in such a carbon reduction effort,” the Navy said in a statement released Tuesday. “If this partnership — which is being piloted through 2030 — is successful, it could be duplicated between other U.S. ports and naval bases.”

In addition to investing in the project for both the military base and the city, the agreement, which was signed Tuesday at Cesar Chavez Park in San Diego, meets the demands of the Biden administration. executive orders instructing all federal agencies to take action to reduce carbon emissions.

“The annual revenue generated by this innovative new partnership will be dedicated solely to the electrification of ports and naval operations, and among those who will benefit the most are our neighbors in Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights and West – National City. Dan Malcolm, chairman of the San Diego Port Board of Commissioners, said in a statement.

The new agreement also follows from my Navy deploying a new climate action strategya comprehensive roadmap for how the service intends to quantitatively reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through electrification and the use of alternative propulsion systems on ships and Navy bases by 2030.

“2030 is the mark we set initially because the scientific community and others have said this is the decade for decisive action, and so we take it very seriously,” Meredith Berger, the senior Navy official who leads climate efforts services. told journalists during the publication of the document.

Between the release of the document and this week’s announcement, the Navy was in the middle of a “90-day sprint” focused on identifying initiatives to make progress “toward the goals outlined in the strategy.” One of such initiatives was a Wargame Berger hosted with Defense Department officials, Capitol Hill staff and think tanks in June.

The Navy’s announcement is one of a large series of climate initiatives planned by the Pentagon under The Biden administration. The army, for example, became particularly focused on electrification of ground vehicles. Undersecretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said the Pentagon’s focus on combating climate change will be felt in its budget materials.

“These Are Not Ideological Issues of Climate Against War” she said last year. “This is about ensuring our resilience and our ability to be the fighter of the future, and we will make those investments.”

What’s less clear is whether these initiatives will hold sway long after the Biden administration leaves office, or whether they’ll fall by the wayside like former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus did. “The Great Green Fleet” project. Navy pilot program to connect ships to shore infrastructure as part of new agreement with Port of San Diego

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