solar powered trimaran ferryBy David Ponce

We’ve met our share of treehuggers, and while they seem like nice enough people, we just don’t share their enthusiasm for tying ourselves to trees and such. Instead, we contribute to our planet’s well being by doing the next best thing: pointing to cool, eco-friendly technology. Like, news of this very slick, and somewhat strange looking Trimaran hybrid diesel/solar-powered ferry, that will soon connect tourists in San Francisco with the seemingly much visited Alcatraz. The project is being undertaken by Hornblower Yachts, a commercial charter outfit in conjunction with Solar Sailor of Sydney, Australia. They plan to build

Two 600-passenger trimarans, at a cost of between $6 million and $8 million apiece, that will run on as much on sun and wind power as they do diesel fuel?and will emit half the pollutants of a similar sized conventional ferry. The triple-hulled vessel will have a 45-foot high retractable wing covered in solar panels that can generate 20 kilowatts of electricity to help take the load off the two diesel engines. 600pax_tri_side_lr The wing also generates some 170 hp on its own as a sail.

The boats should be seaworthy by 2008 and 2011.

VIA [Business Blog]