Sandia and San Francisco’s Red and White Fleet are partnering to develop a high-speed, hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered passenger ferry and refueling station. Hydrogen fuel cells have higher energy efficiency than the diesel fuel cells that power most passenger ferries, no harmful exhaust emissions, quiet operation, and no risk of fuel spills. (Photo courtesy of Red and White Fleet)

Sandia and San Francisco’s Red and White Fleet are partnering to develop a high-speed, hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered passenger ferry and refueling station. Hydrogen fuel cells have higher energy efficiency than the diesel engines that power most passenger ferries, no harmful exhaust emissions, quiet operation, and no risk of fuel spills. (Photo courtesy of Red and White Fleet)

The San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric vessel with Zero Emissions (SF-BREEZE) project intends to revolutionize ferry performance on the bay and beyond.

The project is a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and the Red & White Fleet to develop a 2 MW hydrogen-powered high-speed passenger ferry to

  • displace diesel-powered vessels with a zero emission alternative and
  • greatly reduce the noise pollution those vessels subject Bay-area residents to.

This fuel-cell ferry will be the first commuter-scale, hydrogen-powered ferry and require the largest hydrogen refueling station in the world. The hydrogen station will be the only one in the world to provide hydrogen for both land- and sea-based vehicles, and its high throughput will result in hydrogen costs at or near DOE targets for light-duty fuel-cell passenger vehicles.

A high-speed passenger ferry of the type envisioned to be powered by hydrogen in the SF-BREEZE project.

A high-speed passenger ferry of the type envisioned to be powered by hydrogen in the SF-BREEZE project.

The feasibility study was funded by the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD). This project is consistent with California’s aggressive zero-emission vehicle strategy and supports the broader deployment of hydrogen infrastructure funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC). SF-BREEZE leverages important partnerships with Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office, US Coast Guard, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, several other California state agencies, and the City of San Francisco.

Read more about this project.

Read the Sandia news release.