Port of San Diego headquarters. Photo by Chris Stone

The Port of San Diego received a $2.7 million grant from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District Wednesday to partially fund electrical upgrades to power two new all-electric mobile harbor cranes.

The cranes are intended to reduce diesel particulates and polluted air in the neighborhoods of Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights, Logan Heights, and West National City. The all-electric cranes are being touted as the first in North America when they begin operating at the port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in summer 2023.

“Our new electric cranes will be a game-changer for our communities as well as the environment and our regional economy,” Dan Malcolm, chairman of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, said in a statement. “We are happy to have this critical funding from San Diego County APCD to ensure we have clean and reliable power to support the new cargo handling equipment.

“These cranes will replace our old diesel crane, eliminating a major source of pollution at our terminal,” he said. “We will also gain a competitive edge over other West Coast ports. This means improved public health and air quality, more opportunities for the port, and more jobs for our region. Everybody wins.”

The grant funding was made possible through California Climate Investments and the Community Air Protection Program.

California Climate Investments is a statewide program using Cap-and- Trade dollars with the intent to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health and the environment. CAPP was established under Assembly Bill 617 to improve the air quality in communities disproportionately burdened by air pollution.

“Every adult and child deserves to breathe clean air. Our portside communities have been disproportionately impacted by a lack of investment and poor air quality for decades,” said Nora Vargas, vice chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and Air Pollution Control District chair. “Assembly Bill 617 will provide long overdue funding for this community to support cleaner air technology

“The addition of charging infrastructure for electric cranes is a huge step forward that will reduce diesel particulates and improve air quality for the families and children of this community,” she said. “I am proud that District 1 will be home to a crane that is the first of its kind in Northern America, and I hope that more cities follow suit, and more ports include this type of clean technology.”

–City News Service