The British Columbia government will invest $9 million to design and deliver onshore electrical power to cruise ships docking at Victoria’s Ogden Point terminal.
The shore-power connection would allow up to two cruise ships at a time to plug into the local electricity grid and turn their generators off while docked, reducing emissions and noise from the vessels.
B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming announced the funding Wednesday at Ogden Point, alongside officials with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and representatives from the international cruise industry.
The provincial funding will be provided to the GVHA to plan, design and eventually install the shoreside hydroelectric connection.
“People want solutions to environmental concerns while also growing our economy,” Fleming said.
“Adding shore power will allow us to turn off large cruise ship engines by connecting vessels to clean electricity at Ogden Point. This will lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution and create well-paying jobs that support sustainable tourism.”
The first cruise ship of the 2023 season is scheduled to dock in Victoria on April 11.
The harbour authority anticipates this will be a banner year for the industry in Victoria, with 320 cruise ships carrying an estimated 850,000 passengers expected.
Fleming said the funding will kickstart the detailed planning phase of the shore-power project, while final completion will likely require years of work and significant funding from the federal government.
Vancouver’s cruise ship terminal at Canada Place has offered shore power since 2009, when it became the first in Canada and the third in the world to provide the service, according to the Port of Vancouver.