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  • 2021 March 10 12:53

    ABB technology to support iconic U.S. ferry’s move to hybrid-electric operations

    Maine ferry operator Casco Bay Lines has committed to an integrated hybrid-electric power and propulsion solution from ABB for its new vessel, in a technology step change along one of the longest-established ferry routes in the United States, according to ABB's release.

    The new ferry is expected to cut up to 800 tons of carbon dioxide per year – an equivalent of emissions annually generated by 175,000 passenger cars – significantly improving air quality in Portland, Maine.

    The new 50-meter ferry will feature ABB Marine & Ports’ hybrid power, propulsion and a shore charging 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, the passengers will benefit from a smoother, cleaner and quieter ride.

    In line with U.S. governmental commitments to reduce the environmental impact of public service transit systems nationwide, the ferry project has been partially funded by federal and state grants, with a 15-vehicle and 599-passenger capacity vessel to replace an existing diesel-powered ferry for the Portland–Peaks Island service along the coast of Maine.

    Within its integration, engineering, automation and equipment supply roles, ABB will deliver the award-winning Onboard DC Grid™ power distribution system to give full control over when and how the vessel uses its diesel generators, the 904-kWh battery energy storage system or a combination of the two to optimize energy consumption at any load. ABB is also supplying an automated shore charging system for installation at the Port of Portland, which automatically connects at the dock and will not require any additional port time to charge the vessel.

    Smooth running, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance will be supported through the inclusion of the ABB Ability™ Remote Diagnostics System in the vessel.

    Hybrid and electric solutions for ferries are on the rise, with over 130 battery-powered ferries already in operation and more than 90 on order, according to the Maritime Battery Forum. ABB’s complete, integrated solutions for hybrid and electric vessels are increasingly selected by ferry operators worldwide and in the U.S. Recent successes have included a fleet renewal project for Washington State Ferries, the largest ferry system in the country, while ABB also supplied power and propulsion package for the latest ‘Maid of the Mist’ Niagara Falls tour ferries – the first fully-electric vessels built in the U.S.
     
    ABB is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.




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