UK government funding awarded for electric propulsion trials on Thames

Photo: BAE Systems

BAE Systems, in collaboration with other maritime industry companies, has secured funding from the UK Department for Transport to design, develop, and demonstrate maritime propulsion technologies for use on the River Thames in London.

BAE Systems will work across two separate projects in the city with ferry operator Uber Boat by Thames Clippers and Cory, a waste to energy management company.

The projects will also look at how onboard and shore-based high power, rapid charging points can be developed to provide charging stations for vessels to maintain uptime.

The two projects are part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), which is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Innovate UK. Each project will start as a feasibility study that will show the technological and commercial viability of connected system designs.

The project with Thames Clippers will investigate how low- and zero-emission propulsion and power management technology, which includes intelligent controls, can improve the transport of people and goods around the busy capital city.

The second, separate study with Cory, meanwhile, will look at how low and zero-emission propulsion and power management technology, combined with autonomous capabilities, can bring cleaner energy to the waste management industry. Cory already turns waste into construction materials and a clean source of energy that feeds back into London’s main power grid and that could potentially supply Thames River users.

These two feasibility studies will start this month and will be completed by March 2022. The aim is then to produce vessel demonstrators for each project to prove the findings of the study before being adopted by the wider fleet.

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