UK-based BAE Systems has completed the deployment of its HybriGen Power and Propulsion solution onboard Sea Change, the first US hydrogen fuel cell-powered marine ship.

The company supplied its zero-emission propulsion system to Zero Emission Industries for equipping the Sea Change vessel, which will sail in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Investment firm Switch Maritime financed the Sea Change project.

Switch Maritime is working towards the development of its first fleet of zero-carbon, electric-powered maritime ships.

The propulsion system features a hydrogen and fuel cell system that was supplied by Zero Emission Industries.

It also incorporates lithium-ion batteries for powering the ship in the absence of a traditional combustion engine.

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According to BAE Systems, the all-electric system minimises engine maintenance while phasing out the use of diesel fuel for supporting a clean mode of transportation.

BAE Systems power and propulsion solutions general manager and vice-president Steve Trichka said: “We are committed to getting our customers to zero emissions with highly reliable and flexible systems that are proven on land and in the water.

“This historic milestone is the next step on that journey, as we provide San Francisco with an innovative solution that reduces emissions and creates a new clean form of daily transportation for hundreds of commuters.”

For the development of this capability, BAE Systems collaborated with All American Marine and Incat Crowther.

The company has utilised ‘proven’ controls and components that have been certified and inspected by the US Coast Guard.

In addition, the project has obtained a $3m grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the administration of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).

BAE Systems launched the new HybriGen Power and Propulsion system for the marine industry last month.