A renewable energy shipping precinct, promising environmental sustainability and a better quality of life for local residents, has been outlined by the NSW Government.

In a world first ships docked at Sydney ports would be able to take advantage of shore power to maintain auxiliary systems, not needing to rely on a ship’s diesel-powered engines and avoiding the waste products it produces.

Sydney’s Glebe Island and White Bay will be the first bulk shipping precinct fully supplied by shore power, while the White Bay Cruise Terminal will be the first shore-powered cruise berth in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Shore power is cleaner and quieter, minimising the impact of ships on neighbouring areas and ensuring our last remaining deepwater harbour berths continue to operate sustainably into the future,” Mr Elliott told Central News.

“The first berth is set to come online in 2024, and will allow shore power capable ships to cut their diesel generators, and thereby reducing emissions, air pollution and noise levels whilst at port.”

Renewable shore power is set to remove 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere over 12 months – the equivalent of taking over 4,000 cars off public roads.

A dry bulk ship at Glebe Island

A dry bulk ship docked at Glebe Island, one of the locations for the 2024 shore power project. Credit: Supplied

Balmain MP Jamie Parker labelled the announcement as a long-overdue win for local residents in the area.

“Shore power will be life-changing for people in Rozelle and Balmain and the fact that it will be powered by renewable energy sets the bar for ports across the nation and the world to follow suit,” Mr Parker said.

The Greens Lower house member has been campaigning since the relocation of the cruise terminal from Barangaroo to White Bay.

Residents close by to the relocated White Bay Cruise terminal reported significant health and amenity impacts.

Similarly, the Stop Cruise Ship Pollution campaign, founded by Balmain and Rozelle residents, celebrated the win on social media.

However, Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that the project would be too little, too late, stating that residents would continue to suffer until the 2024 deadline.

“The NSW Government has just announced that after years of neglect they will reverse their opposition to ship to shore power at White Bay,” he said. “Frustratingly, they are saying this will only be delivered in 2024, at the earliest. This ongoing delay is not good enough.”

Port Authority of NSW chief executive, Captain Philip Holiday said the project was an initiative supported by bulk shipping and cruise industry experts, representing a step forward for a sustainable future for the industry.

“Delivering shore power will drive us even further than our already ambitious NSW net-zero targets, of a 75 per cent emissions reduction by 2030, and net zero by 2040,” he said.

Main image of New South Wales Transport Minister David Elliott (left) discussing the newly announced shore power project with Balmain Greens MP Jamie Parker (right) by Rodger Liang.