Schneider Electric supports clean cruise ship initiative

Schneider Electric, a French company noted for its expertise in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has engaged in a collaborative project aimed at pioneering the first cold ironing buoy. This innovation is intended to supply energy to cruise ships while they are anchored. The initiative, spearheaded by Orcades Marine Management Consultants, focuses on reducing the emission levels from cruise ships stationed at the Bay of Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.

The project’s goal is to decrease the pollution emitted by these ships when they are idling offshore, which will enhance the air quality along the coast. Currently, while cold ironing facilities are available for ships docked at berths, there has been no solution for those at anchorage. The proposed buoy will harness energy from nearby renewable sources, such as wind turbines, solar panels, and tidal turbines, to meet the high energy demands of hybrid cruise ships.

The initial phase of the project has secured over £300,000 (approximately $374,000) from the Department of Transport. This funding will support the front-end engineering design (FEED) and a comprehensive feasibility study to evaluate the technical, economic, and social impacts of the technology. This study is part of the UK’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC).

Upon completion of the initial studies, the construction of the cold ironing buoy will commence. It will be energized by an onshore power supply (OPS) via a subsea cable running to the anchorage point.

As a crucial technical partner in the consortium, Schneider Electric is set to assess both the technical and commercial feasibility of the project. The company’s contributions will include conducting a GAP analysis and preliminary work for the infrastructure upgrade. Furthermore, Schneider Electric will evaluate the technical, economic, and operational feasibility of the project and develop a roadmap for the pilot demonstration.

The consortium includes the Orkney Island Council Harbour Authority, shipping agency GAC UK, and environmental consultancy business Aquatera. Each member contributes extensive experience in its respective field, ensuring a holistic approach to the project that encompasses engineering, safety, harbor operations, environmental concerns, and stakeholder engagement.

The selection of the Bay of Kirkwall as the project site underscores its dual significance as a popular cruise ship destination and a potential hub for renewable energy production. Since 2013, Orkney has been a leader in renewable energy, generating more than 100% of its electricity needs from green sources, a figure that rose to 128% by 2020.

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.

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We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, endpoint to cloud connecting products, controls, software, and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and industries.

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