The Port Houston Authority has approved a plan to buy electricity produced from renewable sources to meet its operational needs.

The port will now start talks with retail electric providers MP2 Energy Texas, Constellation New Energy and NRG Business Solutions to buy renewable electricity.

The port will select and sign a ten-year contract with a new provider who can offer contract value that does not exceed $35m.

The contract will enable Port Houston to save approximately $240,000 a year if it signs a ten-year contract instead of a three-year agreement. A longer period is estimated to offer around $2.5m in savings.

The use of renewable energy is expected to reduce Port Houston’s carbon footprint by approximately 25,000t or a quarter of a million tonnes over a ten-year period.

The Port Commission has granted permission to share Port Houston’s comprehensive long-range plan with stakeholders.

SWA Group will be responsible for offering stakeholder participation support services for the long-range plan.

In recent years, the port has been making infrastructure upgrades to meet the growing demand of oceanic trade.

Port Houston executive director Roger Guenther said: “The Port Authority continues to perform well. Operationally, container volumes and other cargo continue their upward trend in 2019.”

Port Houston and industry leaders are working on the Houston Ship Channel Project 11.

The project includes increasing the width of the Houston Ship Channel from 530ft to 700ft and expanding the depth of upstream segments to 45ft.