Ocean innovation and research is alive and well at the University of Victoria, thanks to $1.19 million in federal funding announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.
Funding for UVic will help secure the powertrain equipment necessary to retrofit the former Tsekoa II into the world's first plug-in hybrid "green ship" powered by electricity, hydrogen fuel cells and low-emission diesel fuel. The hybrid system will provide energy for low-speed maneuvering and station-keeping and will also supply high-quality power for ship systems, communications and instrumentation.
"Creating innovative and environmentally-friendly marine technologies is vital to the success of Canada's clean energy sector," said Minister Yelich. "Our government is proud to support this project."
The new green ship technology has been created by UVic's green transportation research team and BC's marine engineering and alternative power system sectors. Project partners include the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Province of British Columbia, Ballard Fuel Systems and Techsol Marine.
By demonstrating this green ship technology, UVic is opening the door for a wide range of applications in the marine sector, both for research and commercial purposes. A hybrid system is quieter, more efficient and cleaner than traditional marine systems.
"This support for our world-class coastal research vessel is greatly appreciated and helps maintain Canada's leadership in the design and application of clean energy technologies," says UVic Vice-President Research Dr. Howard Brunt. "This project is an excellent example of how governments, industry and universities are working together to enhance the well being of Canadians."
Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.