How does the Shore Power System work?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System can deliver electrical power to an outfitted cruise ship at any port in the world. Through a closed transition process, it seamlessly transfers electrical power to the ship while it is docked — without causing even a flicker of onboard lighting. This enables cruise ship operators to turn off diesel engines and run entirely on electricity while in port, virtually eliminating carbon emissions and the negative impact idling engines have on air quality.

What makes it different from other Shore Power /Cold Ironing solutions?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System is fully automated; it synchronizes the delivery of power with the cruise vessel, transitioning from ship power to shore power seamlessly — without disruption of power to onboard electrical needs. The Cochran Marine Shore Power System also has robust monitoring and reporting capabilities that other systems do not. For example, the system can capture real-time data in order to calculate the reduction in emissions per call.Cochran Marine can monitor each connection and make any necessary adjustments remotely from our headquarters in Seattle, WA, allowing real-time controls over the system.

Cochran Marine’s cable positioning device is also unique. It offers flexibility to connect to ships with differing configurations.

What reporting capabilities does the Cochran Marine Shore Power System have?

Because it is fully automated, the Cochran Marine Shore Power System is able to report a ship’s electricity consumption while docked at the terminal. This data can be used to calculate the reduction in emissions per call. This automation also allows for remote monitoring of the system and the ability to remotely troubleshoot, should a problem occur.

What is the impact of the Shore Power System on the environment?

Shore Power is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Verified Technology List under “Idle Reduction Technologies.” The technology has been tested by the California Air Resources Board and the EPA, and has been determined to reduce diesel fuel consumption and air emissions.

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System decreases emissions while a cruise ship is docked by significantly reducing the air-polluting toxins that come from idling diesel engines:

  • In Seattle, every time a ship connects to Shore Power, the result is an estimated reduction in carbon emissions of 87 tons.
  • Since its launch in late 2009, Port Metro Vancouver’s Shore Power system has seen 90 vessel calls connect — which translates to a reduction of over 3,000 tons of net greenhouse gas emissions.

Why is Shore Power better than scrubbers or other emissions-reducing measures?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System is a proven technology that has been in service for nearly a decade. By connecting to Shore Power, cruise ship operators can turn off diesel engines and run entirely on electrical power while in port, which reduces carbon emissions by approximately 87 tons per call. While alternative solutions such as scrubbers may reduce GHG, shore power is proven to be far more effective while ships are at berth. Scrubbers primarily reduce sulfur emissions, allowing other harmful emissions into the air.

What is required for installation of a Shore Power System?

The local electrical utility must be able to deliver ample power to the site of the Shore Power installation; exact energy needs depend on the regularity of usage and power requirements of the ships using the system. The space required for installation of the system ranges from 1,800-2,500 square feet, and can be configured to accommodate varying site attributes.

Once these requirements are met, Cochran Marine provides:

  • The electrical equipment to support both voltage class ships (6.6kV & 11 kV)
  • The automation control center that facilitates seamless transition from ship to shore power
  • The cable positioning device that controls the cables that deliver power to ships
  • Annual support and monitoring to provide data back to ships and ports

How much does it cost?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System costs $3.5 – $5 million, depending on the final configuration. The cost of installation, maintenance, and regular commissioning and de-commissioning of the system is separate.

How long does it take to install a system?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System can be installed and fully operational in 8-12 months, depending on site conditions and the permit approval process.

How much power does it require?

The power required to operate the system depends on the load of each ship that connects to the system. Currently, the Cochran Marine Shore Power System is servicing ships between 4 and 13 Megawatts. However, is it designed to support up to a 20 Megawatt load, which means the Cochran Marine Shore Power System is capable of serving any ship on the market today.

Can multiple ships run on Shore Power at the same time?

No, a dedicated system is required for each ship that is running on Shore Power. A system configuration can be customized to provide power to multiple locations and multiple ships, but only one ship can be supported from a single system at any given time. For example, the Port of Seattle has two Shore Power Systems installed by Cochran Marine: one for the west side and one for the east side of its Cruise Ship Terminal, so two vessels can be connected at once.

What is required for operation and maintenance?

A Cochran Marine trained and certified operator is required to support the connections of each ship. Annual re-commissioning of the Shore Power system by Cochran Marine, prior to the start of each cruise season, is also required by IEC IEEE standards to ensure optimal system functionality.

Does the Shore Power System work worldwide?

Yes. Until recently, there was no way to convert utility power in 50 Hertz (Hz) markets to work with cruise ships, which run on 60 Hz power. The Cochran Marine Shore Power System converts the standard voltage of any cruise terminal worldwide to match that of the vessel.

How is the system customized to each port?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System is a standard design of electrical components with a standard layout that can be customized according to site conditions, including configuration of the cable positioning device for tide conditions or docking arrangements.

Where is the Shore Power System currently installed?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System is currently installed in:

Seattle, WA (two systems)
Vancouver, BC (two systems)
San Francisco, CA
Long Beach, CA
San Diego, CA
Brooklyn, NY
The Shore Power system in Brooklyn, NY is scheduled to come online for the 2014 cruise season.

What Cruise Lines are using it?

Currently, Princess Cruises, Holland America Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines and Disney Cruise Line use the Cochran Marine Shore Power System. Cunard will also use the system when it comes online in New York in 2014.

Are cruise ships already enabled to work on Shore Power?

To date, 27 cruise ships are outfitted to receive Shore Power. Cruise lines are outfitting their ships with the necessary connections as more Shore Power installations come online in the markets they serve. Both Princess and Holland America Lines are making all newly constructed cruise ships with shore power enabled.

Is there a solution for cargo and container ships?

Cochran Marine’s Shore Power technology can be adapted for the freight shipping market as a more sustainable and cost-competitive alternative to current freightliner cold ironing systems.

Are there any regulations requiring Shore Power?

There are currently regulations in California that require ships to connect with shore power according to a time schedule. In addition, there are many new and emerging regulations governing the reduction of emissions at ports around the world.

Emission Control Area (ECA), a process of the U.S. Government, Environmental Protection Agency and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to designate an area off the coasts of the United States where stringent emissions controls would apply to ocean-going ships. Other countries are also developing standard policies for ECAs that include the use of Shore Power and Low Sulfur fuels. (
Annex VI to the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which contains two sets of standards adopted by the IMO to control harmful exhaust emissions from ship engines. All ships must abide by the global standards for the sulfur content of fuel and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from engines. Ships operating in designated ECAs are required to comply with more stringent sulfur and NOx limits. (
The Clean Ports Act of 2011, which will give ports the regulatory authority to enact and enforce the EPA’s Clean Truck Program that addresses environmental and public health concerns, among others. (
The Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement that sets greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for countries around the world. (
Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, an act adopted by the European Union which establishes air pollution reduction objectives and outlines measures to achieve them by 2020. (
Sixth Environment Action Programme, which builds upon a previous programme regarding comprehensive European environmental policy. (
The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a proposal by the Australian government to reduce greenhouse gas emission via a cap-and-trade system. (

Who created the Shore Power System?

Cochran Marine, LLC is the innovator behind the first fully automated Shore Power System for cruise vessels in the global marketplace. Cochran Marine is a subsidiary of Cochran, Inc., an electrical and technologies contractor based in Seattle, WA.

Is the technology patented?

The Cochran Marine Shore Power System is patent pending.