Bay Ship and Yacht Co., based in Alameda, Calif., has won a contract to build the first hydrogen fuel cell passenger vessel in the U.S.A. for Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM), a Bay Area company on a mission to eliminate maritime pollution. The vessel is expected to be delivered and in service by September 2019. The seventy-foot, all-aluminum ferry will operate on the San Francisco Bay, and will be managed by the Red and White Fleet.
Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine awarded a $3 million grant by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to build the vessel, and this initiative provides a solution to a $330 billion maritime pollution problem globally. This zero-emission vessel will be the first of its kind in the U.S., and proves that businesses with an elevated environmental consciousness can create viable, cost effective solutions to mitigate climate change.
The vessel is named Water-Go-Round, a light-hearted nod that speaks to the cyclical nature of how the technology works. Simply put, hydrogen can be created from water and after being used in a fuel cell, becomes water again. Since water is the only bi-product of the power system, widespread adoption of this technology for shipping will achieve drastic reductions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. The vessel is powered by dual 300 kW electric motors using independent electric drivetrains from BAE Systems. Power is generated by 360 kW of Hydrogenics proton exchange membrane fuel cells and Li-ion battery packs. Hydrogen tanks from Hexagon Composites, with valves and hardware from OMB-Saleri, are installed on the upper deck, and contain enough hydrogen to go up to two days between refueling. GGZEM’s “zero infrastructure” flexible fueling arrangement allows the Water-Go-Round to be fueled anywhere with truck access.
“Bay Ship is honored to participate in this pioneering effort, as builder of the first zero emission passenger vessel in the United States,” said Bay Ship and Yacht Founder, Bill Elliott.
“This project places Bay Ship and Yacht at the forefront of its industry by being the first ship yard to build such a vessel in the U.S.A.,” said Richard Maguire, Business Director Bay Ship and Yacht. “It also ensures the continuation of commercial boat building in the bay area.”
“Together, with our partners, we will show our communities there is a long-term solution to meeting the drastic cuts in pollution and greenhouse gases required by states like California and other governments around the globe,” said Dr. Joseph W. Pratt, CEO of Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine.
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