Clean maritime: creating a blueprint for electric ports

Credit: Plymouth Marine e-Charging Living Lab (MeLL)

Plymouth is set to become the first UK city to provide a network of shore-side charging facilities for electric marine vessels.

A growing fleet of electric vessels in Plymouth is proving to be the perfect catalyst for another new green energy innovation in the city.

Plymouth is already home to the UK’s first electric passenger ferry and water taxi. However, a lack of proper infrastructure has made it challenging for the city to achieve coordinated and sustainable growth in this emerging sector.

Network of charging facilities

Now, a consortium of city partners has received funding to develop a network of charging facilities on sites around Plymouth Sound as part of the Marine e-Charging Living Lab (MeLL) project.

The project aims to:

  • expand current facilities
  • support new business growth
  • actively encourage the development of further electric vessels.

It will also create a blueprint that can be adapted to fit other ports and harbours around the UK.

It’s being led by the University of Plymouth, working alongside:

The project will identify locations that can easily link to the National Grid and introduce sensors that can assess environmental and operational impact.

Trail blazer

Professor Will Blake, Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute at the University of Plymouth, said:

This is an exciting project that has the real potential to showcase Plymouth as a trail blazer in clean maritime innovation.

It builds on our existing partnerships and shows that there is a concerted effort to make positive and lasting changes that will benefit both our city and the environment as a whole.

Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC)

The Plymouth Marine e-Charging Living Lab project is part of the CMDC, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

The CMDC was announced in March 2021.

It is part of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan to position the UK at the forefront of green shipbuilding and maritime technology.

The competition is a £23 million investment from government alongside a further £10 million from industry to reduce emissions from the maritime sector.

55 projects across the UK

The programme is supporting 55 projects across the UK, including projects in:

  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • the south-west to the north-east of England.

As set out in the Clean Maritime Plan (2019), government funding has been used to support early-stage research relating to clean maritime.

The programme will be used to support the research, design and development of zero emission technology and infrastructure solutions for maritime and to accelerate decarbonisation in the sector.

Watch our video to find out more about how University of Plymouth and its partners are developing the first shore-side charging facilities for electric marine vessels.

Last updated: 18 November 2021

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