Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is helping lead the transition to transportation electrification — including two new electric ferries that recently arrived in Quebec City and are on route to Kingston.

The Amherst Islander II and the Wolfe Islander IV eFerries, built for Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation by Damen Shipyards facilities in Romania, will be the first new hybrid electric passenger and vehicle ferries in Ontario. Once terminal infrastructure is complete, they will become the first fully electric ferries, completing their trips with onboard battery propulsion, producing zero emissions.

“The clean electricity we produce, combined with our extensive experience with large infrastructure projects, position OPG well to assist in the transition toward decarbonization with tangible projects like electrification of these two ferries,” said Ken Hartwick, president and CEO of OPG. “Reducing greenhouse gas from transportation, a sector that produces about 30 per cent of Ontario’s emissions, is critical to meeting climate change goals.”

The ferries made their way across the Atlantic Ocean to Quebec City, where they are currently being offloaded and certified by Transport Canada to then sail up the St. Lawrence River to the Kingston area. They will arrive in Kingston later this fall.

OPG’s role is to design, build, operate and maintain the on-shore battery storage system and charging infrastructure, which will include two fast charge eFerry stations on Lake Ontario. Construction of charging infrastructure is expected to start early in 2022, and be completed in 2023.

“Ferries are an integral part of Ontario’s transportation network,” said Caroline Mulroney, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation. “They provide reliable service that connects communities, and helps support local economies. By electrifying the Amherst Islander II and the Wolfe Islander IV, we will be able to meet people’s transportation needs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

OPG is helping transform the province with transportation charging infrastructure design, operations and maintenance. The company has partnered with Hydro One to develop the Ivy Charging Network, Ontario’s largest electric vehicle charging network. As well, OPG is currently working with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Toronto Hydro to design, build, operate and maintain the charging infrastructure to power the TTC’s electric bus fleet.

The Ontario government estimates that over their 60-year lifespan, the ferries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 446 million kilograms of carbon.

Ferries transport approximately 900,000 passengers and 400,000 vehicles between Wolfe Island and Kingston each year, and approximately 300,000 passengers and 145,000 vehicles to and from Amherst Island annually.

Featured image courtesy of OPG.

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