PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, has announced that the airport’s Marilyn Bell I passenger/vehicle ferry will be converted to electric power.
The retrofit represents a unique technological advancement in the airport’s fleet as the vessel will be the first 100% electric lithium-ion powered ferry in service in Canada. PortsToronto expects the ferry’s retrofit to be complete by the end of 2020.
The vessel’s propulsion system will be entirely powered by battery and fueled by 100% Bullfrog Power renewable electricity, enabling the ferry to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the airport’s ferry operation. In addition to operating more efficiently and eliminating related air emissions, the retrofitted vessel will build on the airport’s award-winning Noise Management Program, as it will operate far more quietly, dramatically reducing related noise in the surrounding community.
As part of PortsToronto’s sustainability program, a phased approach to greening the airport’s ferry operations began in 2018 when the Marilyn Bell I was converted from diesel to biofuel, which resulted in the reduction of approximately 20 tons of greenhouse gas emissions last year. The electric-powered ferry is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with ferry operations by 530 tons, dramatically reducing the airport’s carbon footprint and setting the organization on a clear path toward achieving PortsToronto’s overall emissions target.
“The retrofitting of the Marilyn Bell I to electric power clearly demonstrates how we can build a clean and efficient transportation system, create good jobs and protect the environment,” said Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport. “The Government of Canada commends PortsToronto for this initiative that will benefit Toronto communities and reduce our carbon footprint.”