MANITOWOC, Wisc. (WFRV) The SS Badger is set to sail beyond its normal season.
It's all due to the boom in wind power energy and the low transportation cost the carferry offers to ship wind tower components from Manitowoc to Ludington, Michigan.
The Lake Michigan Carferry announced the deal reached with the manufacturer, GE, to transport an additional 60 tower sections from October 15-November 2. The ferry already transported more than 300 sections this season.
The extended sailing season is great news for customers, employees and the port cities.
"Manitowoc has been involved in the growing green energy industry for several years," said Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels. "Our own Tower Tech company manufactures wind towers locally and has shipped many of them on the Badger in recent years. Thanks to the S.S. Badger, Tower Tech is able to ship these towers across the lake in an easier, quicker fashion."
Passengers can reap the benefit of the extended sailing season. Lake Michigan Carferry is offering a 40% discount on passenger and vehicle fares from October 15 through November 2.
The future of the SS Badger following this season is still uncertain, however. They are awaiting a 5 year permit by the EPA to covert from coal power to a cleaner fuel. Without that permit, the ferry service will come to an end.