Regent Craft partners with Pacific Current to develop Seaglider network in Hawaii

REGENT CRAFT INC., the Boston-area startup set to move to Rhode Island, has partnered with Hawaii's largest electricity provider to explore a rollout of its Seaglider technology. / COURTESY REGENT CRAFT INC.

PROVIDENCE – Regent Craft Inc., the Boston-area startup set to move to Rhode Island, has partnered with Hawaii’s largest electricity provider to explore a rollout of its Seaglider technology.

The partnership with Pacific Current, a sustainability-focused subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., brings Regent a step closer to expanding its 12-passenger “Viceroy” Seaglider to Hawaii.

Honolulu-based SMS Research & Marketing Services Inc. will lead a study analyzing the economic, environmental and community impacts the Seagliders could have on the islands.

“We recognize that Hawaii is a special place, with a sacred culture, sensitive environmental ecosystems and unrivaled biodiversity,” Billy Thalheimer, CEO and co-founder of Regent, said in a statement. “The feasibility study continues our commitment to engage with local communities, civic organizations, and all appropriate private and public sectors leaders to understand how Seagliders can help improve the daily lives of the residents.”

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Regent’s technology could eventually serve commercial passengers, emergency services and cargo transportation.

The partnership “represents a huge opportunity for Pacific Current and HEI to significantly increase our clean energy and clean transportation impact,” Scott Valentino, president of Pacific Current, said in a statement. “The upfront capital costs associated with a transition of this magnitude are immense, and often this is a gating factor for wider adoption.”

Mokulele Airlines, a Southern Airways Co., will serve as launch partner.

Regent’s Seaglider technology, which is currently in the prototype development phase, hovers above the water while moving at speeds of 180 miles per hour.

Regent, which originated in Burlington, Mass., will soon uproot to the Ocean State, following a $13 million tax incentive approval by the R.I. Commerce Corp. The company plans to lease land at the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown.

Regent has set a goal of serving commercial passengers by 2025.

Jacquelyn Voghel is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Voghel@PBN.com.

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