In a story titled Greener B.C. research ship to use fuel cells, the 1985-vintage Tsekoa II, once used by the Canadian Coast Guard, is discussed being transferred to the University of Victoria, along with its ongoing retrofit with an all-electric, hybrid drive. The propulsion system consists of:
- Hydrogen-air fuel cells and
- "Low-emission" diesel generators.
As such, the Tsekoa II will apparently become North America’s first hybrid fuel cell and plug-in hybrid ship. No word on the vendors supplying the battery and fuel cell systems, or even the battery type. If it is a Lithium-Ion battery, it will likely be one of the largest transportation-based installations in the world, because Kim Juniper, lead scientist on the project. is quoted as saying "When fully charged, the batteries can supply all the ship's power requirements for up to eight hours."
$22 million (CAN) is going to the power plant changeover. An additional $8.8 million (CAN) is going to to expand the Venus undersea observatory in the Strait of Georgia and Saanich Inlet.