Maine Department of Transport cuts fuel consumption by 100,000 gallons per year by using ABB technology on new ferry

Firm will supply the propulsion and energy storage system for the hybrid-electric vessel on the Lincolnville-Isleboro route in the USA

Maine Department of Transport cuts fuel consumption by 100,000 gallons per year by using ABB technology on new ferry

Gilbert Associates

By Alice Chambers |

The USA’s Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) is to use ABB technology to power a new double-ended, hybrid-electric vessel, which will operate between Lincolnville and the island community of Isleboro.

The newbuild ferry will replace the 35-year-old diesel-powered ferry Margaret Chase Smith to reduce fuel consumption by 100,000 gallons per year.

ABB will provide the hybrid-electric propulsion and energy storage system. It will integrate its Onboard DC Grid power distribution solution and Ability Marine Remote Diagnostic System for optimal energy usage and monitoring.

Funded under the Federal Transit Administration, the new ferry will carry up to 200 passengers and 40 vehicles.  

“The new hybrid-electric ferry will make a significant contribution to our efforts to decarbonise transportation in the state of Maine,” said Mackenzie Kersbergen, senior project manager for the multimodal programme at MaineDOT. “ABB has been a great partner to us throughout the design process and we look forward to seeing their system in action. Given the critical need for vessel reliability and uptime on this route, ABB’s service footprint and digital monitoring capabilities set them apart from the competition in our search for a systems integrator.”

The project also contributes to the Maine Clean Transportation Roadmap, which targets carbon neutrality by 2045.

“Amid an urgent and growing need to decarbonise ferry operations, ABB’s integrated electric, automated and digital solutions are increasingly selected by US operators looking to replace obsolete ferries in response to regulatory requirements and societal expectations,” said Drew Orvieto, head of sales for North America at ABB Marine & Ports. “We are honoured to work with MaineDOT as systems integrator for this important vessel.”


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