Sutton Harbour
Researchers from the University of Plymouth are involved in a major transatlantic project aiming to enhance understanding of clean maritime power and performance.
The £1.8m CanUK vessel-to-grid project is uniting experts in the UK and Canada and will deploy bi-directional chargers and electric vessels in Plymouth and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Across the two locations, the charging installations will feature vessel-to-grid capabilities in both software and hardware, onshore and aboard vessels.
Adapting technologies from the automotive sector for marine use, lab testing of equipment and batteries will deepen understanding of marine battery performance under various conditions.
With contrasting environmental and operational conditions, the two locations will be used to compare the bi-directional energy flow to and from the vessel batteries, highlighting their capacity to perform key energy services and enhance energy security.
The initiative has been funded thanks to a collaboration between Innovate UK and Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, together supporting projects to deliver innovative outcomes in ocean technology.
It is being represented in the UK by marine charge point operator Aqua superPower, vessel manufacturer RS Electric Boats, and drive solutions provider RAD Propulsion, with the University adding its expertise in marine electrification and battery chemistry.
The Canadian partners are led by marine V2G software provider BlueGrid, with marine technology and marine market experts COVE, Lennox Island First Nation for skills training, and Dalhousie University providing knowledge of battery energy systems.
The project is the latest involving the University of Plymouth that aims to develop and deliver the critical technologies to power the sustainable growth of the global clean maritime sector.
Specifically, this initiative will harness the University’s expertise by creating new scientific, logistic and regulatory knowledge on battery chemistries, charging technologies and associated grid infrastructure.

Countries all over the world are realising the potential of clean maritime, and huge strides have been made in the sector’s development and delivery. Through its projects and collaborations, the University is at the forefront of research and innovation that has led to advances in harbour infrastructure and vessel performance. It has also pioneered means of evidencing the benefits of a switch to clean maritime, and the CanUK project will build on those achievements while assessing how performance varies across two very different locations.

Sarah FearSarah Fear
Project and Knowledge Exchange Manager

The CanUK project will co-develop a vessel-to-grid ecosystem, supporting vessel-to-grid standards integration, battery R&D, and energy market alignment.
The standards will be integrated into RS Electric Boat’s 63kWh workboats with R&D focused on battery and drive solutions.
A management platform will link all components, with testing confirming interoperability, and best practices will be collaboratively developed with key regulators.
Overall, the project will aim to prove the value of marine vessel-to-grid and develop solutions that will result in carbon reductions, vessel operating cost savings and more desirable vessel solutions.

Winning our second Innovate UK grant for vessel-to-grid technology highlights our leadership in marine electrification. We're thrilled to lead the UK consortium and collaborate with our Canadian partners on this groundbreaking transatlantic project, showcasing the potential of bi-directional boat charging in different energy markets and environments.

Adam Marshall
Chief Technology Officer at Aqua superPower

International collaboration and innovation are cornerstones of this CanUK project. We are proud to lead the Canadian team and work with our industry-leading UK partners for breakthrough vessel-to-grid deployments on both sides of the Atlantic. Together we will accelerate adoption of electric boats and emissions reductions, creating market opportunity in the process.

Andrew Boswell
CEO at BlueGrid

Trailblazing clean maritime innovation

We are among the UK’s leading proponents of clean maritime research, with a track record in consistently securing government funding through the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. 
Through engagement with business and the wider scientific community, we are co-creating ways of transforming this research into practical solutions to challenges faced by the marine and maritime sectors.  
electric charging facilities