Illustration courtesy Elliot Bay Design Group

Crowley Joins Casco Bay Lines’ Hybrid-Electric Ferry Project

Mike Schuler
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August 16, 2022

U.S. maritime company Crowley will join a team of companies that are designing and building a hybrid-electric passenger and vehicle ferry for Casco Bay Lines in Portland, Maine.

Crowley has been selected by Senesco Marine to provide design verification and production packaging for the vessel. Under the contract, Crowley will use its development experience in electric and hybrid propulsion systems to verify the contract design by Elliott Bay Design Group and develop the production package that is necessary to begin construction.

The ferry is expected to be in service in 2024. The vessel will operated as true hybrid with the ability to operate in diesel-electric, zero-emissions, fully battery-powered modes, or a combination of those options.

The ferry is designed to hold up up to 599 passengers and 15 vehicles and will replace an existing diesel-powered ferry, resulting in a reduction of approximately 800 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Casco Bay Lines said in February it received $3.6 million in federal grants for the hybrid propulsion system from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Passenger Ferry Grant program. The 900 kWh diesel-electric system and shoreside charging systems will be provided by ABB.

Crowley is in the process of designing the eWolf, the first all-electric tugboat in the United States. eWolf, which is currently under construction at Master Boat Builders in Alabama, will conduct ship assist and escort services at the Port of San Diego, California from mid-2023.

“We are collaborating with fellow industry leaders to deliver sustainable, high-performing marine solutions that are better for the environment and well-serve the communities where they operate,” said Coulston Van Gundy, vice president, Crowley Engineering Services.

Crowley also operates two LNG-powered combination container/roll-on/roll-off ships known as the Committment class.

“We are proud to begin construction on another hybrid-electric ferry, a sustainable solution to carry passengers from point A to point B, made possible by a strong team to include Crowley’s partnership and notable design and verification experience,” said Ted Williams, president, Senesco Marine.

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