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Power deal advances plans for electric ferry service between Glen Cove, NYC

A proposed electric ferry service between Glen Cove

A proposed electric ferry service between Glen Cove and New York City will receive low-cost electricity from New York State. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

A proposed electric ferry service between Glen Cove and New York City has been awarded low-cost electricity from New York State, officials said.

Marine Interface Inc. in East Northport received 770 kilowatts from the state Power Authority’s ReCharge NY program in return for pledging to invest $4 million for shore power charging systems.  

Authority officials said Marine Interface has promised to create 16 jobs. It was among five local businesses to secure power allocations last month. The allocations are for seven years.

Marine Interface, which designs and constructs marine propulsion systems, is partnering with ferry operator Hornblower NY on the electric ferry. They were selected by the Glen Cove City Council in July to provide the service, which will cater to commuters.

The service will initially use a traditional boat but eventually an electric boat will debut, according to Eric Breen, president of Marine Interface, which has worked on electric ferry projects in Alabama, California and South Carolina.

“As fuel is one of the largest operating costs, this represents a very significant cost savings,” he said, referring to the power allocation. “It makes the business case for an electric ferry…way more attractive from an operational and investment standpoint.”

Glen Cove officials said the ReCharge NY allocation will reduce the ferry’s operating costs, which in turn will “financially benefit the city” and “benefit the commuters due to lower ticket prices.”

However, the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the planned May start of the service. “We continue to work with Hornblower to make preparations for a new launch date for the ferry, which is to be determined, depending on the COVID-19 situation,” said city spokeswoman Shannon Vulin.

The ReCharge NY electricity is produced by dams near Niagara Falls and along the St. Lawrence River upstate, not by plants burning fossil fuels, according to Authority CEO Gil C. Quiniones.

Among the latest power recipients, Marine Interface received the largest allocation, promised to invest the most and will create the most jobs.

Magellan Aerospace, which is based in Canada, pledged to preserve the most jobs: 136 at its West Babylon factory.

The defense contractor received an additional 106 kilowatts on top of its previous power allocation to support the $519,000 purchase of a vapor degreaser and a shot peening machine, which makes metal components more resistant to fatigue.  The company plans to add two jobs in West Babylon.

A thousand kilowatts can power between 800 and 1,000 homes.

Others awarded allocations of low-cost electricity are AD Gelato Inc. in Williston Park, Exergy LLC in Garden City and J.T.D. Stamping Co. Inc. in West Babylon.

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