SAN FRANCISCO -- Founded in 1892, Red and White Fleet, the original San Francisco Bay tourism cruise company, announced today it will be partnering with Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine to purchase the first hydrogen fuel cell boat, in Spring of 2020. The company has its sights set on changing the way marine vessels consume energy in the United States and are excited about moving their fleet to zero pollution by 2025.
Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine was awarded a $3 million grant by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to build the first hydrogen fuel cell vessel in the US. This initiative provides a solution to a $330 billion dollar global maritime pollution problem. This project was supported by the "California Climate Investments" (CCI) program. Dr. Joseph W. Pratt, CEO of GGZEM said: "Together, with our partners, we will show our communities there is a long-term solution to meeting the drastic cuts in pollution and greenhouse gases required by states like California and other governments around the globe."
The vessel is named 'Water-Go-Round', a name that speaks to how the technology works. Simply put, hydrogen is created from water and after being used in a fuel cell, becomes water again. Since water is the only byproduct of the power system, widespread adoption of this technology for shipping will achieve drastic reductions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Thomas C. Escher, President of Red and White Fleet, said: 'We are using proven technology to build the largest US Flag hydrogen fuel cell passenger vessel in the world. This project is a seed that will grow and produce zero emissions vessels in the USA and beyond. The 'Water-Go-Round' will prove that it is possible to build a sustainable maritime business while at the same time placing our environment first."
Funding for the CARB grant for the country's first zero-emission ferry comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.
When the vessel launches it will operate for three months in the San Francisco Bay. During this period Sandia National Laboratories will independently gather and assess performance data. CARB will use the real-world data to verify the suitability of the technology for marine use. Red and White Fleet will operate the multi-purpose vessel for the demonstration and plans to purchase the 'Water-Go-Round' as the first of several vessels with GGZEM integrated powertrains in order to meet its commitment to a 100% zero emission operation.
Captain Joe Burgard, Executive VP of Red and White Fleet said: "We look forward to offering our customers an unprecedented on-board experience while realizing the operational benefits of this all-electric fuel cell drive system."
About Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine: Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine, launched in 2017, is a full-service provider of marine power systems that are clean and quiet, comply with all current and future environmental regulations, meet rising customer demand for sustainable systems. For more information on GGZEM: http://ggzeromarine.com/
About Red and White Fleet: Founded in 1892, the family-owned Red and White Fleet is the original San Francisco Bay sightseeing and tourism cruise company. Over the years, millions of people have enjoyed a journey aboard Red and White Fleet's Golden Gate Bay Cruise, where tours lead passengers past San Francisco's biggest landmarks.. For more information, visit: http://www.redandwhite.com