SoCalGas & California Energy Commission funding project to test hydrogen fuel cell technology for harbor craft; led by ZEI
The California Energy Commission is awarding $2 million (GFO-20-604, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstrations in Rail and Marine Applications at Ports (H2RAM)) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will provide $200,000 in funding to support a project developing a hydrogen fuel cell solution to power harbor craft vessels.
The Small Fast Harbor Craft Project, led by Zero Emission Industries’ (ZEI) (formerly Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine) will test a commercial marine vessel modified to incorporate a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. The powertrain consists of a state-of-the-art hydrogen storage system, automotive-style fuel cell power system, safety system, control and automation system allowing for a powertrain with increased range, simple maintenance, and no emissions. Supported boat speeds range from a few knots to more than 50 knots.
Once brought to market, the fuel cell technology could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution from thousands of small commercial boats throughout California including patrol, fishing, fire, rescue, ferry, taxi, recreational and other vessels.
This project exemplifies our approach at Zero Emission Industries, which is to solve difficult challenges with hydrogen in ways that make it accessible for everyone. With California being home to over 1 million vessels, 98% of which are under 40 feet long, developing a small fast zero emission vessel solution will have a profound impact on the market, the economy, and air quality.—Dr. Joseph Pratt, CEO of ZEI
The boat will be fueled with hydrogen through mobile, portable systems developed by ZEI for marine vessel fueling. These portable fueling systems will be built as part of the project, using hydrogen sourced from California’s retail hydrogen stations. The project will demonstrate the vessel for six months, split between the San Francisco Bay and Long Beach.
The Port of San Francisco, Red and White Fleet, Port of Long Beach and Harbor Breeze Cruises will assist in testing the technology.
Zero Emission Industries, launched 2017, develops and sells power systems for a range of applications. The company received a $3-million grant in 2018 from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to build the first hydrogen fuel cell vessel in the United States, the Water-Go-Round.