The hydrogen ferry Water Go Round currently under construction in the US has found new funding for setting up an entire fleet. SW/TCH Maritime, an investment platform for all kinds of electric maritime vessels is now on board.
The firm announced its investment to construct the ‘Water Go Round’ e-ferry in collaboration with fuel cell systems provider Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM).
A first unit of the 84-passenger ferry powered by fuel cells is currently under construction at the Bay Ship & Yacht shipyard in California and set for completion this September. The next step will be a three-month trial in the San Francisco Bay, also to act as a flagship for SW/TCH’s future fleet.
This trial fits in with the financing firm’s earlier announced plans to establish a fully electric ferry in New York City, now set for deployment following the proof of concept of the ‘Water-Go-Round’ e-ferry. SW/TCH plans to work with existing ferry operators on both coasts to provide capital to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission ships.
Technical details of the Water Go Round ferry include two electric motors by BAE Systems with a performance of 300 kW each for a top speed will be around 22 knots (about 40 kph). The tanks will hold up to 264 kg of hydrogen, which is enough to run the ferry for two days straight, according to the manufacturers. For refilling the tanks, SW/TCH is partnering with Clean Marine Energy (CME) to develop electric charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure onshore.
Apart from SW/TCH and GGZEM, the project is backed by the Sandia National Laboratories to support the research specifically. The R&D facility funded by the US Department of energy will be gathering data regarding the hydrogen ferry in a real-world scenario. Also, the California Air Resources Board, which is supporting the construction efforts with three million dollars, aims to verify whether the technology is scalable to longer ranges, using the data collected.