Electrification hits the "sea" in Canada

First electric ferries in Canada are to begin operation from 2020, according to SCHOTTEL, which was contracted by Damen Shipyards to provide propulsion for two vessels.

Two units are scheduled for conversions:

  • Amherst Island (above) in 2020 - With a length of 68 m and width of 25 m, it will accommodate up to 300 people and 42 cars
  • Wolfe Island (below) in 2021 - will have a length of 98 m and a width of 25 m for transporting up to 399 passengers and 75 cars
Both ferries will be powered mainly from batteries but will get a diesel engine as backup to ensure mobility. Operational speed is to be 12 knots (13.8 mph or 22.2 km/h), which matches conventional propulsion.

"SCHOTTEL has signed a contract with Damen Shipyards to equip the first fully-electric vessels to operate in Canada. The new Amherst Island and Wolfe Island ferries will be propelled by four SCHOTTEL Twin Propellers STP 260 FP, each with an input power of up to 550 kW. The main propulsion is provided by batteries with a diesel engine as backup to ensure mobility. The propulsion concept implies a power intake increase up to 650 kW due to an enhanced draught provided by the batteries. In accordance with their field of operation in the Lake Ontario/St. Laurence River of the Canadian province of Ontario, the thrusters will fulfil the requirements of Ice Class 1A.

Common concept for future innovations “There has been close cooperation with SCHOTTEL in this project that aimed at identifying high efficient future innovations and green technologies for sustainable power solutions. SCHOTTEL’s international network and propulsion knowledge that we have relied on for decades and we already have supported, made this project a comprehensive solution for the customer”, says Damen Shipyard’s Leo Postma, Area Manager Canada.

The two new double-ended ferries will be operated by MTO, the ferry service of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. Damen’s full electrification concept for the ferries serving Kingston and Wolfe Island, as well as Millhaven and Amherst Island, will reduce emissions by the equivalent of 7 million kg carbon dioxide per year."

Wolfe Island

Wolfe Island

Source: SCHOTTEL via Green Car Congress