The Vineyard Sustainable Energy Committee recently drafted and approved a letter of requests to be made to the Steamship Authority, calling for electrification of ferries being added to the authority’s fleet.

The requests include recognition and accommodation for a future hybrid-electric configuration in the retrofitting of the newly-purchased Aquinnah and Barnstable vessels; creation of an electrification plan and road map as part of the Steamship Authority’s new strategic plan; and purchase of an electric ferry when a vessel is acquired in the future.

The letter states that sustainable energy committee members recognize that the Steamship Authority recently signed a contract to retrofit the newly-purchased vessels and affirms that the seriousness of the climate crisis justifies modifying the contract through a change order or another approach.

The letter was also sent to the Dukes County commissioners and members of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. It was approved at both commission meetings.

In addition, the Vineyard Sustainable Energy Committee collected signatures from more than 350 Islanders on petitions circulating at recent Earth Day and Climate Day events.