Washington state funds shoreside charging for all-electric ferry

(OLYMPIA, Wash.) — Gov. Jay Inslee signed the capital budget on Tuesday that includes $1.5 million for shoreside charging infrastructure to support the new electric Guemes Island Ferry, Anacortes Now reported.

Skagit County Ferry Division Manager Rachel Rowe and Public Works Director Dan Berentson made a presentation to the House Transportation Committee in January to raise awareness of the innovative work the county is doing to design and build an electric replacement ferry.

An all-electric ferry will eliminate consumption of 2 million gallons of diesel fuel over the 40-year life of the vessel and achieve near-zero local air emissions. The project aligns with the goals of the WA State Maritime Blue Strategy for a sustainable maritime industry by 2050.

In 2013, Skagit County began the process of studying vessel replacement when they hired Elliott Bay Design Group to publish a Ferry Replacement Plan for M/V Guemes. The study looked at the existing cost of operation then formulated replacement scenarios to determine the most economic replacement option.

Currently, no state in the nation operates an all-electric vehicle ferry.

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By Professional Mariner Staff