Wärtsilä signs Electrification and Integration Services agreement for US’ first electric high speed ferries project

Wärtsilä has signed a strategic partnership agreement to provide its Fleet Electrification and Systems Integrator Services for a project to build the first electric high-speed ferries in the US. The fully electric vessels will be built for the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), the operator of the San Francisco Bay Ferry system.

The project, and several others Wärtsilä will work on under this partnership, are a part of the agency’s Rapid Electric Emission-Free (REEF) Ferry Program, a phased decarbonization of high-speed, high-capacity ferry service in the San Francisco Bay.

Wärtsilä’s track record with hybrid and zero-emission ferry projects, as well as its expertise acting as an integrator for the delivery of hybrid and fully electric propulsion solutions were key factors in the company’s selection as a project partner. Wärtsilä will work within the WETA project team to finalize vessel and charging system concepts.

After completing the conceptual phase, WETA will move on to the initial construction phase of a multi-vessel program. This phase will involve the building of three smaller ferries with a capacity of approximately 150 passengers each and two larger ferries capable of carrying at least 300 passengers. Additionally, the scope of this phase will encompass the inclusion of battery charging floats.

The construction of the first electric-powered vessel is slated to commence before the conclusion of 2023, with commercial operations expected to launch in 2025.

To comply with new California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations, and in order to continue to be a leader in the sector, WETA is committed to accelerating zero-emission implementation ahead of and beyond regulatory requirements.

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