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Maid of the Mist launches all-electric ferries at Niagara Falls

ABB has supplied an integrated power and propulsion solution for the newbuild vessels, including an offshore charging system, enabling sustainable operation.

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The all-electric Maid of the Mist vessels have entered service
The all-electric Maid of the Mist vessels have entered service

A pair of vessels equipped with all-electric propulsion from ABB have entered service at Niagara Falls.

 

The zero-emission ferries named the James V Glynn and the Nikola Tesla are reported to be the first all-electric vessels built in the US, with power drawn from a high-capacity battery pack supplied and integrated by ABB.

 

Offshore charging

 

In addition to batteries, ABB has supplied an integrated power and propulsion solution for the new-build vessels, including an offshore charging system, enabling sustainable operation.

 

Approved to enter service on 6 October 2020, the Maid of the Mist ferries are each powered by a pair of battery packs providing 316 kWh total capacity divided across two catamaran hulls, offering a level of redundancy that helps to safeguard operations, according to ABB.

“Maid of the Mist has always evolved with the technology, and we are thrilled to open a new page in our company’s history, moving our fleet to zero-emission operation”

The batteries allow the electric propulsion motors to reach an output of up to 400 kW, with the power setup controlled by ABB’s Power and Energy Management System. They are charged using locally produced hydroelectricity – ensuring that the energy cycle for the operation of the ferries is entirely emissions free – in a process that takes seven minutes during disembarkation and boarding.

 

“Maid of the Mist has always evolved with the technology, and we are thrilled to open a new page in our company’s history, moving our fleet to zero-emission operation,” said Christopher Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corporation.

 

“Close collaboration with ABB has been instrumental in making this project a success, and we are proud of what we were able to accomplish together.”

 

Having installed the ship-to-shore battery charging connection, ABB also supplied the Glynn and the Tesla with a scope of electric, digital and connected solutions including switchboards, drives and the integrated control system.

 

“As well as allowing passengers to enjoy the spectacular experience of Niagara Falls and safeguarding the environment, the vessels confirm growing acceptance of all-electric vessel propulsion,” added Juha Koskela, president, ABB Marine & Ports Division.

 

“We applaud Maid of the Mist’s decision to move to zero-emission operation and are honoured to have worked with this forward-thinking company on implementing the electric power and propulsion solution.”

 

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