Centralia Coal Transition Board awards grant to Port of Seattle

Grant will support the installation of a shore power connection at Pier 66

Centralia (August 4, 2021) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board is pleased to announce it has approved a $1,000,000 grant submitted on behalf of the Port of Seattle. The grant award will support the installation of shore power connection point at the Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 in Seattle, Washington. The expected total project cost is approximately $17,000,000 and once completed, will enable ships equipped with shore power technology to plug into cleaner, landside electrical power while at berth. This opportunity will result in significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the burden of diesel exposure.  

The design of this project commenced in 2019 and of the shore power connection is expected to be operational by the 2023 cruise season. The project is supported with additional grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and the state of Washington Department of Ecology.  

The shore power connection at Pier 66 will allow vessels equipped with shore power technology to plug into the local electrical grid and turn off their auxiliary diesel engines. Not only will this significantly reduce greenhouse emissions that contribute to climate change, but it will also reduce the burden of diesel exposure to people who live, work, and visit along the Seattle waterfront. Pier 66 is the home port to Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises, which offer weekly sailings to Alaska during the cruise season. The Energy Technology Board was formed to support projects throughout the state and has a mission to invest in projects that create environmental benefits for the state of Washington and this project aligns with that mission.

“We deeply appreciate this grant from the Centralia Coal Transition Board to help the Port of Seattle transition our working waterfront away from carbon intensive fuels to clean electricity,” said Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck.  “Waterfront electrifications make our maritime industries innovative and sustainable, which makes them more competitive and a greater platform for economic opportunity.  Electrification also reduces our impact to near Port neighborhoods and the region, a critical measure of how well we deliver results for our community.”

The Energy Technology Board was formed as a result of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington. This agreement allowed for the Centralia plant to move away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025. TransAlta is investing $55 million into Lewis and South Thurston Counties and the state of Washington through the Coal Transition Boards.

The Port of Seattle is an independent special purpose government representing the people of King County, Washington with a mission to create economic opportunity and stronger communities by advancing trade and commerce, promoting manufacturing and maritime growth, and improving the environment for current and future generations. As the largest and fastest-growing cruise port on the West Coast, the Port of Seattle is committed to strengthening the region as a leading tourism destination while also being the greenest and most energy efficient port in North America. 

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made since 2012 with the last payment due December 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility.

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.