All American Marine to complete construction of Water-Go-Round

Written by Nick Blenkey
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AAM will complete the aluminum construction and outfitting of the 70-foot, 84-passenger zero-emissions ferry

SWITCH Maritime (SW/TCH) has awarded All American Marine, Inc. (AAM), Bellingham, Wash., a contract by to complete the aluminum construction and outfitting of the 70-foot, 84-passenger zero-emissions, hydrogen fuel cell powered, electric drive Water-Go-Round ferry.

As we have reported earlier (see story), Water-Go-Round will be the first hydrogen fuel cell vessel in the U.S.and is being developed to demonstrate a pathway to commercialization for zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell marine technologies. The e-ferry will exhibit the viability of this marine technology for the commercial and regulatory community.

AAM is a leading U.S. builder of hybrid-electric vessels and was chosen to complete the project because of its experience building unique, high-quality vessels. All American Marine’s new shipyard has an expanded capacity and production capabilities for additional, larger and more complex vessels.

“Having demonstrated our capabilities by delivering a number of state-of-the-art vessels over the years, AAM was the ideal candidate to complete this vessel. We believe that hydrogen fuel cell technology will prove to be a robust alternative to conventional powertrain technologies,” said Matt Mullett, AAM President & CEO. “AAM is on the leading edge of manufacturing unique vessels with advanced propulsion methods, which is why we are so excited to be a part of this project to complete construction on such a revolutionary vessel.”

Rendering of completed ferry

The project is funded by private capital from SW/TCH, an impact investment platform that is building the first fleet of zero-emissions maritime vessels. SW/TCH seeks to work with existing ferry operators around the country to provide capital to accelerate their transition to zero emissions, leveraging significant experience from the build of this e-ferry.

This project is also partially funded by a $3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board, administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, that comes from the California Climate Investments initiative, a California statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine is the provider of the hydrogen fuel cell power package and also serves as technical and regulatory consultants on the project.

The vessel will use an onboard set of fuel cells arranged in compact stacks, similar to battery racks, which allows the onboard space to be used efficiently.

The fuel cells turn hydrogen into electricity by injecting hydrogen on one side and by supplying compressed ambient air on the other side of a proton exchange membrane (PEM fuel cell).

The hydrogen fuel storage is connected to the fuel cell powertrain, creating electricity to run the propulsion motors and turning the twin fixed-pitch propellers.

Fuel cell systems provide the same operational flexibility as diesel with zero emissions and less maintenance.

Hydrogen fuel cells directly convert hydrogen to power with zero emissions.The only byproducts of a fuel cell reaction are electricity and water that is clean enough to drink.

Ferry was transported to All American Marine by barge
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