"On a brisk morning this fall, a 46-foot commercial fishing boat will cruise
into the cold waters of Sitka, Alaska, and cut the diesel engine. In that
moment of near silence, an electric motor will whir to life. This moment will
mark a sea change for Sitka’s small-boat commercial fishing industry: a
transition to energy-efficient commercial fishing, powered by low- and
zero-emissions propulsion systems.
The boat in question, a small commercial salmon troller named I Gotta
make history as one of the first low-emissions fishing vessels ever deployed in
Alaska. Using a unique parallel hybrid battery-diesel system, the boat can
travel at full speed using its diesel engine, then switch to a battery-electric
motor when fishing. In this way, I Gotta
’s captain, Eric Jordan, will be able
to cut the boat’s fuel use by 80%.
Hybridizing the vessel has taken a village—and several years of collaboration.
The project began when the Sitka-based Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association
(ALFA) applied for support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy
Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) to assess fishing vessel
hybridization options. ETIPP paired the association with commercial vehicle
researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia
National Laboratories. And I Gotta
’s retrofitting has been funded with grant
support from AgWest Farm Credit and Acme Seafoods.
But the partnership has goals far greater than hybridizing a single fishing
boat: ALFA aims to inspire decarbonization efforts across its entire fleet—and
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics