French energy management company Schneider Electric has joined a UK Government-backed project developing the first cold-ironing buoy designed to power cruise ships at anchorage. 

Led by Orcades Marine Management Consultants, the project is based at the Bay of Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, and will demonstrate the technology, which would solve the problem of ships at anchorage not being able to access the cold-ironing, shore-to-ship power solutions available at berth. 

Shaun Faulkner, seasport segment lead at Schenider Electric, said: “There is an increasingly clear need for cleaner and more sustainable processes and guidance in the ports and maritime industry. 

“This project will be a positive step forward in terms of fulfilling that need and demonstrating what a more sustainable future could look like.” 

The cold-ironing buoy will deliver renewable power to anchored cruise ships at the Bay by connecting to an Onshore Power Supply through a subsea cable, allowing ships to possibly eliminate emissions from their power supply while visiting the region. 

 The project is one of 33 different clean maritime focussed projects to have received backing from the government’s fourth round of its Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition

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Schneider Electric, Orcades Marine and their partners Orkney Islands Council, GAC Services UK, and Aquatera, received grants worth around $350k from the fund, which will support a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) feasibility study ahead of work beginning on building the buoy. 

For Schneider Electric’s role, it will provide the GAP analysis and Pre-FEED for the infrastructure upgrade as part of the project, as well as assessing its technical, economical and operational feasibility and creating an adoption roadmap for the pilot demonstration.