MARAD chips in $500,000 for fuel cell powered ferry study

JULY 30, 2015 —The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) yesterday said that it will provide $500,000 towards the development of a high-speed, hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered passenger ferry and refueling station (see earlier story). The project is being conducted jointly by Sandia National Laboratories of the Department of Energy and San Francisco's Red and White Fleet.

The fuel cell would provide power for the ferry’s propulsion and auxiliary electrical systems, while the hydrogen refueling station —which would be the largest in the world—would service the ferry, electric cars, buses and fleet vehicles, and other maritime vessels powered by fuel cells.

"This study is just one more way in which MARAD is working to find new and efficient technologies for use in the maritime industry that offer clean-fuel options to cut emissions," said Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen. "The U.S. maritime industry can play an important role in reducing the world's carbon dioxide emissions and creating a more sustainable future for us all."

The study is part of ongoing work by MARAD's Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program (META) and the maritime industry to conduct research, testing, validation and documentation of fuel cells for marine applications. The work complements an ongoing joint project to demonstrate fuel cells to provide auxiliary power for other port and shipboard applications such as powering refrigerated containers and replacing diesel generators. MARAD is also funding an effort to demonstrate a fuel cell for ship auxiliary power for its school ship Kennedy, which is used by Massachusetts Maritime Academy as a training vessel.

The META Program is administered by the Maritime Administration's Office of Environment and is designed to foster collaboration with maritime stakeholders to address emerging environmental challenges.

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