More Details Revealed on San Francisco Hydrogen Ferry, Bunkering Plans

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday October 11, 2016

Follow reports in August that the Port of San Francisco is looking at the possibility of developing a hydrogen bunkering station, more details have been revealed on the plans to build and operate a high-speed, zero-emission hydrogen-powered ferry, and associated refueling infrastructure.

Science news service reports that a recent study has found the project to be "technically possible," and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) says it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with San Francisco-based Red and White Fleet, which will see the development of the vessel and associated infrastructure.

The vessel is known as SF-BREEZE - San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions. 

"Hydrogen fuel cells have several advantages over the diesel engines that power most passenger ferries - no harmful exhaust emissions, higher energy efficiency, quiet operation, and no risk of fuel spills. Replacing diesel engines and generators with hydrogen fuel cells could greatly improve air and water quality in harbor areas," said Sandia.

The company says that the hydrogen refueling station that will be built under the project is expected to be the largest in the world.

"In the course of the study, we examined over 10 major issues where feasibility was initially unknown. SF-BREEZE sailed through them all," Lennie Klebanoff, a researcher at Sandia told

The passenger ferry is said to be expected to use about 1,000 kilograms (kg) of hydrogen per day, while the refueling station is expected to have capacity for 1,500 kg per day.

As Ship & Bunker reported in August, the Port of San Francisco has identified Pier 54 as the most viable site for a hydrogen fueling station.