Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine (GGZEM) has announced the beginning of construction of Water-Go-Round, a first-of-its-kind hydrogen fuel cell boat.
The 70ft (21.3m) catamaran is being built by Bay Ship & Yacht of Alameda and will showcase the advantages of hydrogen fuel cells for the commercial maritime industry, with construction expected to be complete by September 2019.
Joseph W Pratt, CEO of GGZEM, said, “Operators all over the world are seeing that hydrogen fuel cell electric drivetrains can provide both environmental and economic advantages. GGZEM and our partners are proud to be selected by California to showcase this aboard Water-Go-Round.”
Funding for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) grant for the country’s first zero-emission ferry comes from California Climate Investments, a state-wide program working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is administering the project, alongside other partners including Bay Ship & Yacht, BAE Systems, Hydrogenics, Red and White Fleet, Incat Crowther, Hexagon Composites, the Port of San Francisco and Sandia National Laboratories.
Once Water-Go-Round is launched it will operate for three months in San Francisco Bay, to enable Sandia National Laboratories to independently assess performance and gather data for CARB to determine marine suitability of the technology. Additionally, partners will gather feedback from operators and passengers to determine best commercial use of the vessel. Red and White Fleet intends to use Water-Go-Round as the first of several vessels with GGZEM integrations to meet its commitment to build a completely zero-emission fleet by 2025.
Tom Escher, president of Red and White Fleet, said, “Water-Go-Round is the beginning of the shift from hydrocarbon maritime fuels to zero-pollution hydrogen fuels. California is going to prove to the global shipping community that hydrogen fuel cells offer zero pollution for the benefit of the entire world.”