The first fully electric ferries to sail in North America, built by Damen Shipyards Galati, have completed their journey to Canada. The Amherst Islander II and Wolfe Islander IV arrived at the Port of Quebec City yesterday, Sept 26, 2021.
The vessels departed the Romanian shipyard on August 26, 2021, and were loaded on the semi-submersible transport vessel Super Servant 4. The boats will continue their journey to Lake Ontario, where they will represent a new generation of zero-emission large ferries, according to a release from Damen, dated Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
Both ferries are equipped to be fully electric, but also have twin diesel generators installed to allow hybrid and full diesel propulsion for maximum redundancy, the shipbuilders said. Extensive upgrades have been ongoing at both ferry locations for some time to support the increased capacity and greener operation of the new ferries.
The vessels will use shore power supplied via integrated shore charging and mooring systems, according to the release, which will enable them to recharge their batteries while loading and unloading between the short crossings to and from the islands.
Both ferries are expected to enter service in the spring of 2022. Crews will undergo extensive training for the remainder of this year, and the ferries will operate in hybrid mode, using the diesel generators to supply electricity to the motors, until the infrastructure upgrades are complete, Damen stated.
Information about the Amherst Island Ferry and Docks can be found at amherstislandferrydocks.ca/ and news and updates on the Wolfe Island Ferry and dock construction can be found at www.wolfeislanddocks.ca/