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New $35 million, zero-emission ship coming to UC San Diego researchers

Posted at 7:38 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 22:38:42-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography is moving forward with replacing a 42-year-old research ship with a new $35 million, state-of-the-art ship. The new vessel will not only replace the old one, but will be a first of its kind: zero emission.

“We are currently on track to be the first of its kind vessel in the United States that will be a zero-emission capable vessel operating offshore,” said Bruce Applegate, Associate Director for Ship Operations and Marine Technical Support at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Applegate said with the work they do preserving and studying the ocean, they want to be conscious of their impact on it. He said one of the biggest sources of air pollution in Southern California comes from ships.

This new design will create a hydrogen-hybrid propulsion system. Seattle-based company Glosten won the bid for the project.

“We really feel there’s a moral imperative for us to operate ships in the cleanest possible way, so we want to cut down on those criteria emissions so we don’t contribute to human health problems in Southern California,” said Applegate.

Now that Glosten has been chosen to design and build the ship, the next phase begins. It will take a year and a half to design the ship, then it will take a year to build, followed by testing. He estimates another four and a half years before it hits the water.

Once in commission, it will be able to support scientists on the water for ten days at a time. It will be based in San Diego but accessible for all UC researchers and can travel up and down the west coast.

The $35 million was allocated to UCSD by the California legislature.