Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM), a Bay Area company on a mission to eliminate maritime pollution, in collaboration with partners, announced it has been awarded a $3 million grant by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to build the first hydrogen fuel cell vessel in the United States. This initiative provides a solution to a $330 billion dollar global maritime pollution problem. The zero-emission vessel will be the first of its kind in the US and proves that businesses with an elevated environmental consciousness can create viable, cost-effective solutions to mitigate climate change.
Dr. Joseph W. Pratt, CEO of GGZEM said: “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.”
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 byproduct of the power system, widespread adoption of this technology for shipping will achieve drastic reductions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Funding for the CARB grant for the country’s first zero-emission ferry comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is administering the project, alongside other partners including Bay Ship & Yacht Co., BAE Systems, Hydrogenics, Red and White Fleet, Incat Crowther, Hexagon Composites, OMB-Saleri, the Port of San Francisco, and Sandia National Laboratories.
The 70-foot aluminium catamaran designed by Incat Crowther has a 22-knot top speed and will be built by Bay Ship & Yacht Co. of Alameda. It will highlight the advantages of hydrogen fuel cells for the commercial maritime sector. 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 refuellings. GGZEM’s “zero infrastructure” flexible fueling arrangement allows the Water-Go-Round to be fueled anywhere with truck access.
After the vessel is launched it will be operated for three months in San Francisco Bay. During this period Sandia National Laboratories will independently gather and assess performance data. CARB will use the real-world data to verify the suitability of the technology for marine use. The partners will also collect feedback from passengers and operators to assess the best commercial markets.
Red and White Fleet will operate the multi-purpose vessel for the demonstration and plans to purchase the ‘Water-Go-Round’ as the first of several vessels with GGZEM integrated powertrains in order to meet its commitment to a 100% zero emission operation.
Captain Joe Burgard, Executive VP of Red and White Fleet said: “We look forward to offering our customers an unprecedented onboard experience while realizing the operational benefits of this all-electric fuel cell drive system.”
The consortium partners have ambitious plans for the future, including the launch of Water-Go-Round in mid-2019. GGZEM is positioning itself to lead the market in transforming the way vessels are built in the U.S., as well as be a global leader in the fight to end maritime pollution and climate change.
Press Release: Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine