Zero Emissions Future Seaport

Building a Zero-Emissions Future

The Port of Oakland values its role as a steward of the Oakland waterfront. Looking forward, the Port will continue to champion efforts to improve water and air quality and advance projects that transition its operations to a zero-emissions port. From power generation to cargo handling equipment, the Port and its partners are implementing projects that are significantly cutting emissions.

The year 2023 launched more than a dozen comprehensive environmental initiatives and activities at the Port of Oakland. As a result, the Port and its partners are reducing emissions through hydrogen-fuel and battery-electric trucks and equipment. The Port is also building a microgrid that will provide reliable electricity at the Oakland Seaport.

Electric trucks in a row from the back end

Power Generation


In January 2023, the Port announced that it was expanding solar power usage. The Port agreed to buy 11,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually from a solar farm in Lancaster, California. Then in June 2023, the Port of Oakland committed to adding geothermal energy (100% renewable) to its power portfolio. Geothermal energy is sourced from the Geyser Power Company, located 75 miles north of San Francisco. The Port committed to purchasing $13.5 million worth of geothermal energy over 12 years.

In June 2023, the California Transportation Commission Port awarded the Port a $42 million grant for green improvements to the Port’s microgrid. The project will dramatically increase the Port’s ability to charge green equipment used throughout the Port’s facilities.

In July 2023, the Port was awarded an $119 million grant from the state, earmarked for infrastructure improvements including maritime facilities, upgrades to adjacent roadways and electrifying cargo handling equipment. These will improve operational efficiencies and reduce future air emissions.

Mobile shore power

Fixed shore power outlet vaults at the dock are not able to accommodate all ships. Therefore, the Port, working with an industry partner, IGUS® mobile shore power outlet systems, developed an innovative mobile shore power solution. This mobile shore power outlet system will run on a track along the wharf’s edge making it easier for more ships to plug in to the electrical grid and thereby cutting harmful ship emissions at dock to near zero.

Shore power (a.k.a. cold-ironing) is the process of providing high voltage electrical power from the shore to a ship at berth, allowing the vessel’s auxiliary diesel engines to be turned off. Connecting to the electric grid dramatically reduces emissions from docked vessels.

Cargo Handling Equipment












Source: Port of Oakland – Seaport 2020 Emissions Inventory

Port Commissioners passed an environmental ordinance in March 2023 that included the unprecedented requirement for marine terminal operators to draft a plan by December 31, 2023, to convert cargo handling equipment to zero emissions equipment. The Port received the plans and collaborating with the tenants to advance transitions through grant funding opportunities. In May, Port Commissioners amended Port operator TraPac’s lease to include green upgrades to cargo handling equipment and terminal facilities. The landmark agreement was the first of its kind and serves as a template for future lease agreements.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies

October 2023, brought more opportunities on the hydrogen front. The federal government designated California as one of seven regions to receive $7 billion of Bipartisan Infrastructure dollars.

The Port of Oakland celebrated the official dedication of the NorCal ZERO project at a new hydrogen fueling station near East Bay Municipal Utility District May 2, 2024. The NorCAL ZERO project is a $53 million collaborative effort to deploy 30 Hyundai XCIENT Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks (FCETs) in Northern California. The trucks, which have a range of more than 400 miles on a single fill of hydrogen, primarily operate in drayage service hauling freight and cars to destinations in the Bay Area and the Central Valley.


The Port and its tenant and project technology demonstrator AMNAV Maritime Corporation received funding from CARB (California Air Resources Board) to design and build a zero-emissions electric tugboat (e-tug) that will operate in the San Francisco Bay. AmNav was also awarded a BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District) grant to cover some of the infrastructure work for the electric charging of the tug. The Bay Area Zero-Emissions Tug (BAZE ElectRA Tug) will facilitate the first zero-emissions vessel deployment at the Port and will be powered by a state-of-the-art microgrid system. The Project aims to achieve a replicable prototype that can foster the commercialization of zero-emissions vessels.

Drayage trucks



In 2023, the Port of Oakland and Port of Yokohama signed a Green Shipping Corridor Memorandum of Understanding to accelerate decarbonization of the supply chain between Oakland and Japanese ports.

The Port is a member of the prestigious environmental non-profit Green Marine. The group fosters collaboration amongst its members as they green maritime operations. The international non-profit certified the Port of Oakland in October 2023, for its planning and projects that are aiding the Port’s transition to zero emissions operations. The rigorous certification process includes a yearly self-assessment of the Port of Oakland’s environmental performance in nine key areas.


As we move forward through the coming years, a lot of work remains to be done. For the Port to succeed, it will need public support for funding requests from federal and state agencies to help finance the considerable investments required to protect our air, land and waterways.