Visitors to Niagara Falls are now able to experience the iconic wonder of the natural world in a pair of Maid of the Mist vessels installed with all-electric propulsion from ABB.
The zero-emission ferries – named the James V. Glynn and the Nikola Tesla, in honour of the Maid of the Mist chairman and the renowned energy pioneer respectively– are the first all-electric vessels built in the US, with power drawn from a high-capacity battery pack supplied and integrated by ABB.
“Maid of the Mist has always evolved with the technology, and we are thrilled to open a new page in our company’s history, moving our fleet to zero-emission operation,” said Christopher M. Glynn, President of Maid of the Mist Corp. “Close collaboration with ABB has been instrumental in making this project a success, and we are proud of what we were able to accomplish together.”
“As well as allowing passengers to enjoy the spectacular experience of Niagara Falls and safeguarding the environment, the vessels confirm growing acceptance of all-electric vessel propulsion,” said Juha Koskela, ABB Marine & Ports Division President. “We applaud Maid of the Mist’s decision to move to zero-emission operation and are honoured to have worked with this forward-thinking company on implementing the electric power and propulsion solution.”
According to ABB, James V. Glynn and Nikola Tesla are each powered by a pair of battery packs providing 316kWh total capacity divided across two catamaran hulls, offering a level of redundancy that helps to safeguard operations. The batteries allow the electric propulsion motors to reach an output of up to 400kW, with the power setup controlled by ABB’s Power and Energy Management System. They are charged using locally produced hydroelectricity – ensuring that the energy cycle for the operation of the Maid of the Mist ferries is entirely emissions free – in a process that takes seven minutes during disembarkation and boarding.
ABB also supplied the Glynn and the Tesla with electric, digital and connected solutions including an onshore charging system, switchboards, drives and the integrated control system, in addition to the ABB Ability Marine Remote Diagnostic System for monitoring and predictive maintenance.