Southern California Gas Co. announced Tuesday that it would provide $ 200,000 to a project to develop a zero-emission solution for small commercial ocean-going vessels by modifying a commercial boat with a hydrogen fuel cell instead of an internal combustion engine.
Fuel cell technology developed by Zero Emission Industries, formerly Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine, has the potential to “significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from thousands of small merchant boats across California, including patrol, fishing, fire, rescue, ferry and taxi, Leisure and other vessels “, depending on the utility.
“SoCalGas is committed to helping California meet its climate goals and we are exploring how we can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in each sector,” said Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovation for SoCalGas.
“We recently announced our commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and energy supplies by 2045, and our collaboration with the California Energy Commission and ZEI in developing fuel cell technology for commercial boats could support that commitment . ” “he said.” This cutting edge technology has the potential to meaningfully reduce pollution in California. “
The California Energy Commission is allocating $ 2 million to the project, which will test a commercial ocean-going vessel modified to include a propulsion train for hydrogen fuel cells.
While boats are typically powered by an internal combustion engine, the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain will use the latest automotive-style fuel cell technology and be designed to optimize overall performance with boat speeds ranging from a few knots to over 50 knots.
The boat is powered by hydrogen via mobile portable systems developed by ZEI for refueling ocean-going vessels, using hydrogen from the California hydrogen filling stations. The project will demonstrate the ship for six months, split between San Francisco Bay and Long Beach.
“With California home to over 1 million ships, 98% of which are less than 40 feet long, developing a small, fast, zero-emission marine solution will have a profound impact on the market, economy and air quality,” said CEO of ZEI Joseph Pratt.
The ports of Long Beach and San Francisco as well as two commercial boat companies, Red and White Fleet and Harbor Breeze Cruises, will support ZEI in testing the technologies.
“As California works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from various sectors of our state, I am pleased that SoCalGas, in partnership with KEK and the zero-emission industry, is leading and supporting the development of innovative technologies to meet the state’s goals.” said Mario Cordero, General Manager of the Port of Long Beach.