US-based Bay Ship and Yacht has begun the construction of Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine’s (GGZEM) new hydrogen fuel cell-powered passenger vessel.

The vessel is being built with a $3m grant provided by California Air Resources Board (CARB) to GGZEM.

The CARB grant is part of the statewide California Climate Investments programme that aims to invest billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also ultimately boost the economy, as well as improve public health and the environment.

GGZEM’s new vessel will be 70ft-long and is named Water-Go-Round. Following completion, the catamaran is expected to operate for three months in San Francisco Bay.

During the first three months of operation, Water-Go-Round will allow Sandia National Laboratories to independently evaluate performance and collect data for CARB to establish the suitability of the technology for the marine industry.

Feedback from operators and passengers will be collected to determine the best commercial use of Water-Go-Round.

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Red and White Fleet will manage the vessel, which will be constructed by September.

“With Water-Go-Round, Red and White Fleet is expected to achieve its commitment to operate a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2025.”

With Water-Go-Round, Red and White Fleet is expected to achieve its commitment to operate a 100% zero-emission fleet by 2025.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is administering the shipbuilding project with BAE Systems, Hydrogenics, Incat Crowther, Hexagon Composites, Port of San Francisco, and others.

GGZEM CEO Dr Joseph Pratt said: “Operators all over the world are seeing that hydrogen fuel cell electric drivetrains can provide both environmental and economic advantages.”

Established last year, GGZEM primarily provides improved marine power systems that comply with the current and future environmental regulations.