Senesco Marine, North Kingstown, R.I., was awarded a contract recently by the Maine Department of Transportation to build a new passenger vessel for the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS).

The 154' passenger-vehicle ferry, designed by Gilbert Associates in collaboration with BAE Systems’ electric hybrid propulsion solution, will deliver reduced and zero-emission operations capability for the Rockland-based ferry service that serves nearly 500,000 riders and 190,000 vehicles each year.

The first hybrid car ferry in Maine will initially provide service from the ferry terminal in Rockland and follows its newly launched sistership on the Rockland-Vinalhaven line, the Capt. Richard G. Spear.

Senesco said it is collaborating with BAE Systems to equip the HybriGen Assist system on the vessel using proven components that enhance system efficiency, and reduce emissions and maintenance costs. The parallel hybrid system offers all-electric propulsion capabilities, power regeneration, and electric boost for high power performance when needed. BAE Systems has 25 years of experience developing and integrating power and propulsion systems, leveraging that core technology for the water with controls and components that have passed certification and inspection by the Coast Guard.

The HybriGen Assist solution includes electric motors, variable speed generators, a battery-based energy storage system, and vessel auxiliary power to create a clean, quiet form of propulsion. The vessel will be equipped with Caterpillar propulsion engines and gensets, Reintjes gearboxes, and a Spear energy storage system, integrated with BAE Systems’ electric motors and power electronics.

Senesco Marine, founded in 1999 and located on Narragansett Bay, R.I., has built and delivered over two dozen double-hulled fuel and chemical barges. Today, the shipyard builds large barges and ATB tugs. Senesco recently added an aluminum division and is constructing CTVs for the wind farm industry.

MSFS, a division of MaineDOT, serves the island communities of Vinalhaven, North Haven, Islesboro, Swans Island, Frenchboro and Matinicus.