Ferry, Straits of Mackinac, Credit Corey Seeman CC BY-NC_SA 2.0
Working with Mackinac Economic Alliance and Mackinac Marine Services, we seek to understand the potential for clean electrification of the ferries and/or commercial shipping vessels in the Straits of Mackinac. The team will design and implement a testing regime to determine hydrological energy flow, direction, and generating capabilities in the historic river depths of the Straits of Mackinac. We will also conduct a demand-side assessment of the electricity requirements for electrified ferries to Mackinac Island and explore the opportunities for electrification of Great Lakes shipping vessels in general, based on the energy requirements and range for each use case. The Michigan Tech team, including the Great Lakes Research Center and Advanced Power Systems Labs, partnered with Mackinac Economic Alliance to apply for this grant funding through the Michigan Mobility funding opportunity.