Mayor Villaraigosa, Port of Los Angeles Helps LA's 24/7 "Vessel Traffic Control" Facility Convert to a Solar- and Wind-Powered Operation
Submitted by EcoMedia
The Port of Los Angeles and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, joined by representatives from trade and maritime industry, environmental organizations and the harbor community today launched a new era of clean energy for the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
The group gathered at the top of Angels Gate Park for a dedication ceremony to mark completion of the Renewable Energy Project – a solar and wind power system that generates all the electricity the Marine Exchange needs to support its high-tech operations for tracking all vessels entering and leaving Southern California waters from San Diego to Port Hueneme and all ship movements within 100 miles of San Pedro Bay.
The $450,000 project was realized with support from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Port of Los Angeles. Through an advertising partnership in 2011 between EcoMedia and the Port of Los Angeles, a portion of the Port’s television advertising cost was provided by EcoMedia to support the project.
“With this project, the Marine Exchange gains its energy independence and Los Angeles takes another step forward to becoming one of the world’s cleanest big cities,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Government can’t do it alone, and we applaud the Marine Exchange of Southern California for teaming with us to create a winning project that makes our city a healthier place to live and work.”
“This project showcases environmental stewardship at its best,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “Not only is the Marine Exchange producing its own electricity, it is generating surplus clean energy and giving back to the community by contributing the additional power to the grid.”
"Through our EcoAd program we were pleased to direct advertising dollars towards the Port of Los Angeles which ultimately helped take the Marine Exchange off the grid and make it a net zero energy user," said Paul Polizzotto, President and Founder of EcoMedia. "Successes like this clean, green renewable energy project reinforce our commitment to work with advertisers and communities to continue to make positive social change."
“We are the modern equivalent of a lighthouse that helps ships find their way safely,” said Capt. Richard McKenna, Executive Director of the Marine Exchange. “With this project, we are also a figurative lighthouse helping to guide the way to cleaner, greener operations in the San Pedro Bay.”
A vital partner of the San Pedro Bay ports, the Marine Exchange is a nonprofit organization whose Vessel Traffic Service uses state-of-the art electronic radar equipment, radio communications and computer systems to track nearly 5,000 vessels annually that call at America’s busiest harbor. The Marine Exchange is also an information broker whose real-time data is used by the public and private sectors for purposes ranging from emergency search-and-rescue missions to long-range business planning.
Designed and built over more than two years, the Renewable Energy Project means the Marine Exchange’s 24-7 operations now run on electricity generated by a sustainable network of 286 solar panels and four wind turbines. The system generates more than 87 kW: enough capacity to support the Marine Exchange’s 55-60 kW power needs and feed the surplus to the city’s power grid.
The project taps into the vast solar and wind resources of the Marine’s Exchange location atop one of the highest points in San Pedro. The site has unobstructed southeast exposure and afternoon westerly winds that offer some of the best windsurfing in Southern California at the beaches below. The wind component, designed with a vertical generator to protect birds, is experimental. The added source of electricity ensures that the Marine Exchange will remain self-sufficient.
With the help of city grants and rebates, the direct cost of energy independent to the Marine Exchange is less than $200,000. The organization expects to pay off the expense over the next six to seven years, at which time its annual electricity bill of $20,000 will be history.
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.
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