Saturday, July 2, 2022
Maritime Propulsion

June 3, 2022

Senesco to Build Hybrid-electric Vessel for Maine State Ferry Service

(Image: Senesco Marine)

North Kingstown, R.I. shipyard Senesco Marine said it has been selected by the Maine Department of Transportation to build a new hybrid-electric passenger vessel for the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS).

The 154-foot passenger-vehicle ferry, designed by Gilbert Associates, will be equipped with BAE Systems’ electric hybrid propulsion solution to deliver reduced and zero-emission operations capability for the Rockland-based ferry service that serves nearly 500,000 riders and 190,000 vehicles each year.

The first hybrid car ferry in Maine will initially provide service from the ferry terminal in Rockland and follows its newly launched sister ship on the Rockland-Vinalhaven line, Capt. Richard G. Spear.

Senesco Marine said it will collaborate with BAE Systems to install the HybriGen Assist system on the new vessel, using proven components that enhance system efficiency and reduce emissions and maintenance costs. The parallel hybrid system offers all-electric propulsion capabilities, power regeneration and electric boost for high power performance when needed. BAE Systems' controls and components have passed certification and inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The HybriGen Assist solution includes electric motors, variable speed generators, a battery-based energy storage system and vessel auxiliary power to create a clean, quiet form of propulsion. The vessel will be equipped with Caterpillar propulsion engines and gensets, Reintjes gearboxes, and a Spear energy storage system, integrated with BAE Systems’ electric motors and power electronics.

The MSFS, a division of the MaineDOT, serves the island communities of Vinalhaven, North Haven, Islesboro, Swans Island, Frenchboro and Matinicus.