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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

ABB to Provide Hybrid-electric Propulsion for MaineDOT Ferry

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 23, 2024

Source: ABB

Source: ABB

ABB has been selected by Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) to supply a comprehensive grid-to-propeller solution for the new double-ended, hybrid-electric ferry that will provide essential services between the town of Lincolnville and the island community of Islesboro in the United States.

ABB’s scope of supply covers the hybrid-electric propulsion and energy storage system. ABB’s Onboard DC Grid power distribution system will ensure optimal use of energy sources, while ABB Ability™ Marine Remote Diagnostic System will enable the monitoring of onboard systems to maximize vessel uptime.

The 207-foot (62-meter) newbuild will transport up to 200 passengers and 40 vehicles between Lincolnville and Islesboro – around three nautical miles from the mainland. Islesboro is designated a ‘Medically Underserved Area’ where approximately 600 year-round residents rely on ferry connections to access healthcare and other critical services.

The ferry project is funded primarily by the Federal Transit Administration under its Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Pilot Program and Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program, with the latter also funding the modernization of the ferry terminals to align with safety and efficiency requirements.

By replacing the 35-year-old Margaret Chase Smith, the new hybrid-electric vessel will cut fuel consumption by an estimated 100,000 gallons per year, equivalent to around 1,100 tons in CO2 emissions. The project contributes to the Maine Clean Transportation Roadmap, which targets carbon neutrality by 2045.

In 2021, ABB won a contract with Maine ferry operator Casco Bay Lines to supply a hybrid power and propulsion system with shore-charging capability to a 164-foot (50-meter) double-ended passenger ferry serving the Portland – Peaks Island route. Due to enter service later this year, the vessel promises an estimated 800-ton reduction in annual CO2 emissions.

Elsewhere in the US ferry market, ABB has recently been involved in a fleet electrification project for Washington State Ferries – the largest ferry system in the country – and supplied the power and propulsion package for the latest ‘Maid of the Mist’ Niagara Falls tour ferries, the first fully electric vessels built in the US.