"Docked in Long Beach on Wednesday with a fresh load of oil from Valdez, the Alaskan Navigator didn't look like much of a trailblazer.
The massive tanker sat silently, with a few thin cables draping down to some gray metal boxes. Missing was the incessant rumble of diesel engines, which on an average cargo ship would be running constantly to keep electrical systems going -- burning quite a bit of diesel fuel and generating a significant amount of pollution.
But the 941-foot Navigator, anchored at the BP oil terminal's Pier T on the Long Beach port's main channel, isn't average. The vessel, owned by Alaska Tanker Co. of Portland, Ore., was plugged into what is billed as the world's first shore-side electrical grid."