It’s technologically possible to build and to operate a 150-passenger, high speed, zero emission hydrogen-powered ferry and its associated hydrogen station in the current regulatory environment, according to a newly-released feasibility study by the US Maritime Administration.
However, the report also states that the current ferry design has a cost premium compared to a conventional diesel ferry.
The study examined the technical, regulatory, and economic feasibility of a high-speed passenger ferry powered solely by hydrogen fuel cells and its associated hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the San Francisco Bay.
Cost reduction strategies specific to the vessel design and strategies for leveraging developments in the fuel cell technology are now being explored, according to MARAD.
The study was funded through MARAD’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance (META) Program and conducted by Sandia National Laboratories. It’s part of ongoing work by the Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program and the maritime industry to conduct research, testing, validation and documentation of fuel cells for marine applications.
The full study can be found at: https://www.marad.dot.gov/wp-content/uploads/pdf/SF-BREEZE-Ferry-Feasibility-Study-Report-by-Sandia-National-Laboratory-2.pdf.