Designed by Propulsion Data Systems, the vessels are currently under construction by Burger Boat Company in Manitowoc, Wisc. In mid-May, the modules will be transported to Niagara Falls and lowered onto the Maid of the Mist dry dock and maintenance facility for assembly. After completion of construction, launch and certification, the new vessels will be placed into service in mid-September.
ABB will supply an integrated power and propulsion solution for the new-build vessels, including lithium ion battery packs and an onshore charging system, enabling sustainable operation with maximum reliability.
Batteries will be recharged for seven minutes after each trip to 80% capacity, allowing for maximum efficiency and battery life.
Commenting on this development, Gil C. Quiniones, President and Chief Executive Officer at the New York Power Authority, mentioned:
New York is leading the way in the transition to an electric transportation system. The Maid of the Mist's conversion to an all-electric fleet is a bold move that shows the world we take our commitment to lowering carbon emissions seriously. The Niagara Power Project has been a long time partner to the Maid the Mist and we are pleased to support the Maid going electric and making our environment cleaner and greener with every trip
The new Maid of the Mist vessels build on a $70 million revitalization of Niagara Falls State Park. The initiative has renewed the park's major viewing areas including Luna Island, Prospect Point, Lower Grove, Three Sisters Islands, North Shoreline Trail, Luna Bridge, and Terrapin Point.
In addition, New York has made a multi-year commitment to revitalize state parks, including $110 million in the 2019-20 State Budget for park improvement projects.