NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Port of Virginia said it’s ahead of schedule on its goal to be completely carbon neutral by 2040.
In a news release Tuesday, the port said it would fulfill all its operational electricity needs from renewable sources by 2024.
“We are taking this world-class operation and coupling it with a twenty-first century approach to sustainability,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). “This decision helps reduce our contribution to global climate change, protects our ocean and marine resources and become a better neighbor, six years ahead of schedule.”
“Our commitment to becoming a completely carbon-neutral operation by 2040 aligns us with some of the world’s leading shipping lines, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and multinational corporations. It is also a strategic business decision. Consumers worldwide are demanding clean – green — supply chains and our work will put us at the forefront of this change.”
The port said it’s currently sourcing some of its electricity for cargo operations from renewable sources. It’s also getting it from a power purchase that expands access to clean energy — that was approved May 9 by the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners. Through the agreement, the Virginia Department of Energy can “allocate an additional 10 percent of the energy from 345MW of solar projects being completed by Dominion Energy along with the port’s proportionate share of the original contract.”
That allocation plus other solar, nuclear and wind resources will support the port’s need for electricity and help it continue to use renewable sources as its electricity load grows and port volumes increase.
Diesel equipment will gradually transition to cleaner technologies as the port grows busier.
“We are ahead of schedule on a couple of fronts. Almost five years ago, we began to electrify our operation, audit carbon emissions, replace aging equipment with greener machines and make greater use of technology,” Edwards said. “As a result, more than one-third of the equipment we use on terminal today is electric and our use of technology is driving efficiency. This is a start that we’re proud of, but we know we can do better and this announcement is an important step forward.”