Spelve farm manager, Alan Tangny Photo: Scottish Sea FarmsSpelve farm manager, Alan Tangny Photo: Scottish Sea Farms

Scottish Sea Farms is piloting a bespoke hybrid power system on board one of its feed barges, reducing fuel consumption, carbon emissions and operating costs.

Designed, built and monitored by Aqua Power Technologies, the hybrid concept has been shown to offset 32,408kg in carbon since the pilot began in September. The total annual carbon offset is estimated at 79,400kg with a saving in diesel costs of around £18,000.

Spelve farm manager, Alan Tangny, called the results ‘fantastic’. ‘We used to be filling our diesel tank at least once a week and now we’re probably getting four times longer between fills,’ he said.

Contained within a 2m long cabinet, the hybrid system includes 24 batteries and a control panel. It works alongside the conventional diesel generator, monitoring the power demand and switching between generator power and battery power as necessary.

The technology has been in use for 20 years, typically in cars, underground trains and off-grid homes, but has not been deployed on a salmon farm until Aqua Power founder, Sam Etherington, approached Scottish Sea Farms to run a trial.

Spelve is also trialling LED lights in place of traditional metal halide lamps, further reducing its carbon footprint. The company now plans to identify other farms that could benefit from the technology. “There is a clear opportunity for the company to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and, in doing so, significantly reduce carbon emissions,” said Scottish Sea Farms environment manager, Sheena Gallie.

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