Port of Virginia Achieves Historic Milestone: 100% Clean Electricity Operation

Leading the Way in Maritime Sustainability, the Port Surpasses Carbon Neutrality Goals with a Pioneering Shift to Renewable Energy.


The Port of Virginia has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative, announcing its successful transition to powering all terminals exclusively with electricity sourced from clean and renewable resources. In a strategic move towards environmental sustainability, the port is not only reducing its carbon footprint but also expediting its trajectory to achieve carbon neutrality by the ambitious target year of 2040.

Stephen A. Edwards, the CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA), proudly declared, “Virginia is the first major US East Coast port to power its entire operation using 100 percent clean electricity.” Edwards emphasized that this move solidifies the port’s status as “America’s Most Modern Gateway,” reinforcing its commitment to cutting-edge and eco-friendly practices.

The transition to clean electricity is poised to deliver significant environmental benefits, with a remarkable 45 percent reduction in carbon emissions per container. This reduction is primarily concentrated in two key emission categories: Scope 1, encompassing exhaust emissions from equipment, and Scope 2, covering emissions from the electricity used to power equipment and facilities.

The port’s achievement represents a paradigm shift in its commitment to sustainability and places it eight years ahead of its initial goal to rely on clean energy for operations by 2032. Glenn Davis, Director of the Virginia Department of Energy, acknowledged the Port of Virginia’s pioneering role in the energy sector, hailing it as a leader in innovation and growth.

Presently, the port operates an extensive fleet of electric equipment, including 116 electric stacking cranes, four electric rail cranes, and 27 electric ship-to-shore cranes. Plans for the future involve the optimization and expansion of the North Berth at Norfolk International Terminals, leading to a fleet size increase to 152, seven, and 31, respectively.

This momentous shift towards clean electricity is the result of a strategic Power Purchase Agreement with Dominion Energy and a rider with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. The agreement ensures the consistent generation and allocation of sufficient clean energy to meet the port’s present and future operational megawatt requirements.

In tandem with this electrifying development, the Port of Virginia is investing $220 million in establishing the US East Coast’s inaugural offshore wind logistics hub at Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT). This investment supports Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, marking a significant stride towards sustainable energy practices and positioning the port as a beacon of environmental responsibility in the maritime sector.

(Photo: Port of Virginia)

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