b'FOGHORN FOCUS Shoreside Challenges& Solutions FOR ELECTRIC FERRIES ANDY BENNETT // KPFFA s the technology for electric ferries and rapid charging of ma- changes in demand can cause brown-outs, power surges, and unstable rine technologies advances, the challenges of getting sufficientpower supplies that can damage computer and other electrical devices power to the operating slip are becoming a major hurdle to clearwe rely on day in and day out.on the path towards zero-emission marine transport. These challeng-es include getting enough power from the utility electric grid, findingFor medium to large ferries operating on regular schedules, the amount space in the terminal for the associated equipment, and mitigating theof power required to make a crossing can be very large and the amount construction impacts associated with installing the necessary chargingof time available to charge a ferrys batteries can be relatively short. In equipment and power cables. Overcoming such challenges requires col- many locations, both urban and rural, the existing electric grid does not laboration with the local power utility, thorough assessment of terminalhave enough spare capacity to meet these large demands and additional space requirements, and careful development of a construction strategy.distribution lines are needed between the ferry terminal and the nearest substation with sufficient space capacity. For remote terminals, it can be GETTING POWER FROM THE ELECTRIC GRID many miles to the nearest substation and the combination of new distri-PHOTO: JOSHUA SORTINO / UNSPLASH bution lines and additional substation equipment can be very expensive.The power grid is an incredibly effective system that perfectly balances the amount of electricity needed at any given moment with the amountAdditionally, the short duration, high demand vessel battery charging of power provided by the mix of generating plants. These generators canloads cannot be easily accommodated by the power grid as they are well include traditional coal and natural gas power plants, as well as windoutside the band of normal variation for which the utility distribution farms, solar farms, and other renewable energy sources. Maintaining thissystem was designed. Programming the charging system to gradually balance requires a complex network of transmission lines, substations,ramp up and ramp down can reduce the impact of charging on nearby distribution lines, and control, alarm, and monitoring systems. Suddenbusinesses and residents, but this also reduces the time available and in-FOGHORN 8'