Casco Bay hybrid-electric ferry enters construction phase

Hybrid-electric passenger vehicle ferry, designed by the US naval architect Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) for Maine ferry operator Casco Bay Lines, is entering the construction phase at Senesco Marine shipyard at Rhone Island.

Courtesy of Elliott Bay Design Group
Courtesy of Elliott Bay Design Group

The hybrid-electric 50-metre ferry will replace an existing diesel-powered ferry, reducing 800 tons of CO2 each year and improving air quality in and around Portland, Maine.

Before the construction phase, EBDG has supported Casco Bay Lines and its steering committee since 2018 as they prepared and planned for the replacement ferry that will operate between Portland and Peaks Island.

The contract design meets operational requirements, increased passenger demand and the operator’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint, EBDG said.

Moreover, EBDG prepared a propulsion selection study to compare various systems based on capital cost, operation cost, reliability, serviceability, CO2 emissions, as well as in port noise and exhaust generation.

As a result of this preliminary design effort, integrated hybrid-electric power and propulsion solution from technology company ABB was selected for the new vessel.

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In addition to providing the hybrid propulsion system that supports diesel-electric and zero-emissions battery-powered modes and a combination of both, ABB will deliver a Stemmann Technik FerryCHARGER shore charging system in Portland.

As described, the hybrid-electric ferry has a capacity for 15 vehicles and 599 passengers, spread across three decks including a sun deck.

The double-ended configuration eliminates the need to turn the vessel around and thus reduces the required speed and energy consumption for the new vessel.

EBDG will also provide technical support services to Casco Bay Lines as the ferry progresses through construction. The ferry is expected to enter operating service in 2024.

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