New Electric Boat to Reduce Carbon Footprint in Erie Canal (USA)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced the launch of an all-electric dredge tender work boat on the Erie Canal in the Utica area. The project is the result of a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

Additionally, the New York State Canal Corporation collaborated with Yorkville-based New West Technologies, LLC, in order to determine how best to transition the State’s work boat fleet to a cleaner propulsion system. The boat’s new electric motor was designed by Elco Motor Yachts, LLC, of Athens, New York.

“By partnering with the private sector, New York State is transforming an 86-year old tug boat into a cleaner, greener and more modern zero-emission vehicle,” Governor Cuomo said. “Projects like this demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment and show how this continued dedication is laying the groundwork for a clean energy economy of tomorrow.”

New Electric Boat to Reduce Carbon Footprint in Erie Canal.

The project makes use of a 1928 tug boat, now used as a dredge tender, for removing buoys and other canal work. Previously running off a 1980s-era diesel engine, the boat is now powered by a battery-powered all-electric powertrain system. The all-electric system eliminates exhaust emissions and the potential for fuel spills, while lowering maintenance costs and reducing noise. The result is a more environmentally- and economically-sustainable solution.

This project is one example of our work to promote cleaner transportation resources,” said Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation Chairman Howard P. Milstein. “We have the great privilege and responsibility of maintaining one of our nation’s premier engineering marvels, and a large part of that responsibility is respecting the environment around the canal system. By utilizing green technologies, we will be able to reduce emissions and help make New York’s canal corridor cleaner and more beautiful.”

“This new electric boat will help reduce the carbon footprint of transportation in New York State, and the research associated with its use will help manufacturers refine and improve upon the existing technologies,” said NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald. “Governor Cuomo is leading the way in supporting the development of clean energy and is using that to improve our transportation system to support economic activity created by shipping and leisure travel on the New York State canal system.”

Press Release, June 18, 2014

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