Shore power solutions

Use a shore power solution to plug in to the onshore electricity grid. This saves fuel and cuts harmful emissions.

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Shore power solutions help save fuel

Shore power solutions from Wärtsilä help vessels save fuel and decrease their emissions because they can plug in to the onshore electricity grid when in port. Without shore power, the vessels would have to use auxiliary engines to generate power. 

Shore power systems are becoming standard in newbuild vessels, and they are a popular retrofit option for existing vessels as well.

What is shore power?

Shore power refers to the possibility for a ship to plug in to an onshore electricity grid when in port. With shore power, the vessel does not have to use its auxiliary engines to generate power. This decreases emissions and noise.

Shore power can also be used to charge the energy storage system on board the ship.
Other terms for shore power include: 

  • Alternative Marine Power (AMP)
  • Onshore Power Supply (OPS)
  • cold ironing
  • shore connection
  • shore power connection. 

All these terms are typically used for IEC-80005 standardized plug solutions (IEEE SA - IEEE/IEC 80005-1-2019 most used in the High Voltage version), which ensure that the vessel will be able to get shore power in any commercial port.

How does shore power work?

3D illustration of the components of a shore power system

The power grid (for example 8kV, 50Hz) feeds the power conversion system, such as an e-house or container in the port.

In this e-house or container the electrical power is converted to the IEC standard, which is 60hz and for most vessels 6.6kV or Direct Current for a battery charging application. The power conversion system includes a converter, transformer, cooling and fire fighting system.

Then the cable handling system allows the heavy cables to be lifted up to the ship. On the ship an incoming panel is placed in a confined room, where the operator connects the ship to shore power.

The power is often via a transformer (if ship grid is low voltage) connected to the main switchboard. The Wärtsilä shore power control system and built in safety features ensures safe and seamless operation.

Shore power as Alternative Marine Power

When a vessel uses Alternative Marine Power (AMP) while in port, it can turn off the genset and take power from shore. This reduces the vessel’s emissions and fuel consumption.

Container vessels and passenger vessels often use an AMP solution. Current legislation determines that both vessel type have to use shore power in EU ports from 2030 onwards. Other users include RoRo vessels, LNG carriers, tankers, ferries, and mega yachts.

Shore power for charging

The term charging (or ferry charging) is used for a variety of alternative and non-regulated or tailored solutions that provide shore power to battery powered or hybrid ships for the purpose of charging their battery.

A chargeable, on-board energy storage system allows a vessel to operate without running its engines. Using a zero-carbon on-shore power grid for charging means that the vessel can achieve zero-carbon operations when it is battery-powered.

The main advantage of charging solutions is a shorter connection time. This is important for ferries that only have a few minutes of time for charging their battery when they load and unload on each turnaround.

All vessel charging systems have the same set up onshore like Alternative Marine Power, which includes more than just the cable handling system – the visible part that connects power to the ship.

Why shore power?

A shore power connection will save fuel and cut your vessel emissions – and there are five more exciting reasons why it’s time to invest in ship to shore power!

Learn the basics about shore power and discover why it is such a green choice – in less than two minutes!

Customer cases

To date, Wärtsilä has delivered more than 150 shore power solutions to ships. In fact, Wärtsilä’s solution was the reference for the Long Beach port – the first one that made shore power mandatory.

The world’s largest zero-emissions lightweight catamaran ferry, ordered by Buquebus and built by Incat Tasmania will have the world’s largest DC shore charging system. 

Hand-picked press releases

Wärtsilä solutions chosen for world’s first methanol fuelled hybrid RoRo vessels

Sep 13, 2023, 10:00 by Wärtsilä Corporation

Technology group Wärtsilä will supply an integrated hybrid propulsion system for two new hybrid RoRo vessels. The ships are being built at the China Merchants Jinling shipyard (Weihai) Co., Ltd for the Swedish shipping company Stena RoRo. The ships will be the world’s first methanol fuelled hybrid RoRo vessels and will operate in the Stena Line Irish Sea system. The combination of new sustainable fuels and electrification is in line with the company’s sustainable operations target. Part of the order was booked by Wärtsilä in Q2 2023, while the remaining order was booked in Q3 2023.

Each vessel will be equipped with two Wärtsilä 32M multi-fuel engines capable now of operating on methanol fuel and with ammonia ready notation. Wärtsilä will also supply the methanol engine auxiliary equipment, the gearboxes, two controllable pitch propellers (CPP), three bow thrusters, the NACOS navigation system, three Wärtsilä 20 auxiliary engines, and the hybrid electric system consisting of shore power, batteries, shaft generators, converters, transformers as well as the Energy Management System making it all work together.

Each vessel will also benefit from the Wärtsilä Hybrid Solution, optimising the fuel consumption today and allowing for future full green operation. The vessels will also be equipped with Wärtsilä shore power solution enabling carbon-free operations when the vessels are in port.

“These vessels are a further development of our previous cargo ship concepts where the focus on sustainability and future-proofing with multi-fuel combustion engines are prioritised,” says Per Westling, Managing Director of Stena RoRo. “With the help of Wärtsilä’s advanced technology, we intend to have the greenest Ro-Ro vessels on the market.”

“We are proud to be supporting these innovative hybrid vessels with our methanol fuelled engines and electrification systems. Both Stena RoRo and Wärtsilä share the same commitment to decarbonising shipping operations, and these vessels represent a further step in this direction by being the first methanol hybrid ships in their class. Not only will the emissions be minimised, but they will also have the most efficient energy utilisation during operations,” commented Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä’s Marine Power business.

The 147 metre long ships will have 2,800 lane metre capacity and will be able to accommodate a total of 37 passengers and crew. They are scheduled for delivery in June and November 2025. The Wärtsilä equipment will be delivered to the yard in 2024.

Wärtsilä has a strong relationship with Stena RoRo, and as early as 2015 Wärtsilä converted the Stena Germanica to operate on methanol fuel. The two companies are currently cooperating on a number of other Ro-Pax projects.

Media contact for more information on this release:

Isabella Alder
Positioning and Strategic Communications Manager
Wärtsilä Marine Power
Tel: +44 (0) 7792 681 757

Image(s) caption: Wärtsilä will supply an integrated hybrid propulsion system for two new hybrid RoRo vessels (illustrated - © Wärtsilä Corporation). The ships will be the world’s first methanol fuelled hybrid RoRo vessels and will operate in the Stena Line Irish Sea system (illustrated - © Stena Roro).

All Wärtsilä releases are available at and at where also the images can be downloaded.

Wärtsilä in brief:
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,500 professionals in more than 240 locations in 79 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2022, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

Wärtsilä Marine Power in brief:
Wärtsilä Marine Power is a global leader in power, propulsion and lifecycle solutions for the marine market. From our end-to-end digital ecosystem planningto our future fuels development, Marine Power is driving the shipping industry forward on its journey towards a decarbonised and sustainable future. Our broad portfolio of engines, digital technologies, propulsion systems, hybrid technology, and integrated powertrain systems delivers the efficiency, reliability, safety, and environmental performance needed to support our customers. Our offering includes real-time insights into operations, performance, and energy use,performance-based agreements, lifecycle solutions, and an unrivalled global network of maritime expertise.


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A shore power connection can reduce emissions

Using renewable power via a shore connection is a great way to reduce your emissions. You will find 49 more ways in a fascinating eBook “50 great ways the maritime industry could cut its greenhouse gas emissions”. Learn more:

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