Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y, has announced that the Maid of the Mist, which has been navigating the Lower Niagara River since 1846, is preparing to launch the first all-electric passenger vessels constructed in the U.S.
To be launched later this year, the catamaran-style vessels are designed to provide Niagara Falls visitors with a smooth, quiet ride with no exhaust fumes or engine noise.
“The new vessels will carry our guests to the base of Niagara Falls, one of the world’s largest sources of clean hydroelectric power,” comments Christopher M. Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist.
“Maid of the Mist tours of the world-famous Niagara Falls waterfalls and of the Niagara River Gorge are a signature tourism attraction of western New York,” says Cuomo. “The new zero-emission boats will continue that proud tradition while enhancing our efforts to make New York State a premier environmentally friendly tourism destination.”
Designed by Propulsion Data Systems, the new vessels are currently under construction by Burger Boat Co. in Manitowoc, Wis. In mid-May, the modules will be transported to Niagara Falls and lowered onto the Maid of the Mist dry dock and maintenance facility for assembly. Following completion of construction, launch and certification, the new vessels will be placed into service in mid-September.
ABB will supply an integrated power and propulsion solution for the new-build vessels, including lithium-ion battery packs and an onshore charging system. The batteries will be recharged for seven minutes after each trip to 80% capacity, allowing for maximum efficiency and battery life.
The diesel-powered Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII will be removed from service when the new vessels begin operating.
“New York is leading the way in the transition to an electric transportation system,” says Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO of the New York Power Authority. “The Maid of the Mist’s conversion to an all-electric fleet is a bold move that shows the world we take our commitment to lowering carbon emissions seriously.”