EBDG-Designed Hybrid-Electric Ferry Enters Construction

Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) announced on July 6 that its design of a hybrid-electric passenger vehicle ferry for Casco Bay Lines of Portland, Maine will enter the construction phase at Senesco Marine of North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

The 164-foot ferry is expected to replace an existing diesel-powered ferry, the Machigonne II, resulting in a reduction of 800 tons of carbon dioxide each year, helping to improve air quality.

EBDG has supported Casco Bay Lines since 2018 as it prepared and planned for the replacement ferry, which is to operate between Portland and Peaks Island, Maine. The contract design, according to EBDG, meets operational requirements, increased passenger demand and Casco Bay Lines’ goal of reducing its carbon footprint.

As part of the preliminary design efforts, EBDG prepared a propulsion selection study to compare various propulsion systems based on capital cost, operating cost, reliability, serviceability, CO2 emissions and in-port noise and exhaust generation.

The resulting ferry, according to EBDG, features ABB Marine & Ports’ hybrid propulsion system supporting diesel-electric and zero-emissions battery-powered modes, as well as a combination of both.

“With the ferry operating in zero emission mode, passengers can benefit from a smoother, quieter and cleaner ride,” according to EBDG. “A Stemmann Technik FerryCHARGER shore charging system is also provided by ABB for rapid vessel charging in Portland.

The hybrid-electric ferry has capacity for 15 vehicles and 599 passengers, spread across three decks, including a sun deck with unobstructed views. The double-ended configuration eliminates the need to turn the vessel around and thus reduces the required speed and energy consumption for the new vessel even though it is larger than the Machigonne II.

EBDG will provide technical support services to Casco Bay Lines as the ferry progresses through construction.

The ferry is expected to enter operating service in 2024.

Elliott Bay Design Group is a full-service, employee-owned naval architecture and marine engineering firm that supports owners, operators and shipyards. Casco Bay Lines is a ferry system that provides year-round passenger, freight, postal and vehicle ferry service to the islands of Casco Bay from Portland, Maine.

Its vessels have been transporting people from Portland to the islands of Casco Bay for over 150 years.

Senesco Marine is a builder of double-hulled barges, tugboats, ferries and other vessels, while ABB is a leading provider of electrical power distribution and automation for the marine industry. The company specializes in low- and medium-voltage systems for cruise and off-shore vessels.