All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) and the vessel owner Switch Maritime started operational trials of Sea Change, a 70-foot, 75-passenger zero-emissions, hydrogen fuel cell-powered ferry for operation in the California Bay Area.
The hydrogen-powered ferry is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell power package provided by Zero Emissions Industries (previously known as Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine). It comprises 360 kW of Cummins fuel cells and Hexagon hydrogen storage tanks with a capacity of 246 kg. The power system is integrated with 100 kWh of the lithium-ion battery provided by XALT and a 2x 300 kW electric propulsion system supplied by BAE Systems.
The vessel design originates from Incat Crowther, and Hornblower Group led the construction supervision and management. It has the same operational capacities as any other diesel-based ferry and will exhibit the viability of this zero-carbon ship propulsion technology for the commercial and regulatory communities.
The project is assisted by private capital from Switch, an impact investment platform building the first fleet of exclusively zero-carbon maritime vessels to accelerate the decarbonisation and energy transition of the US maritime sector. AAM is a leading builder of hybrid-electric vessels in the US and has experience building unique, high-quality vessels.
The project is funded by a $3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Baaqmd) from California Climate Investments. The project received the first-ever loan guarantee under Bqqqmd’s Climate Tech Finance program and a loan guarantee of securing a $5 million construction and term loan with KeyBank.
The project is also supported by the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Center (MSC), USCG Office of Design and Engineering Standards (CG-ENG), USCG Sector Seattle and USCG Sector San Francisco.
Pace Ralli, Co-Founder and CEO of Switch, said, “We can make the transition to decarbonised shipping a reality today. We don’t have to wait.”
Ron Wille, AAM President & COO, said, “Hydrogen-fuel cell technology will prove to be a robust alternative to conventional powertrain technologies.”