A SMALL family owned salmon farmer has succeeded in cutting Co2 emissions by up to 70 per cent thanks to the development of innovative new battery technology.
Based in the north of Norway, the firm, Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett, said it has also reduced the consumption of diesel fuel by up to 80 per cent.
CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen said his company has a clear goal of being out in front when it comes to environmentally friendly fish farming.
He has been working with the technology company Aqua Group to develop large battery packs to power feed vessels and other equipment at the farm.
Knutsen said running a fish farm many miles from the normal electricity supply infrastructure, such as the national grid, is not easy.
The battery packs have been designed in such a way that it is only necessary to power them up by running the diesel unit for a short time. They then have enough power to run for a full 24 hours.
‘We not only cut Co2 emissions by 70 per cent, but have reduced our diesel consumption by 80 per cent or up to 180,000 litres a year,’ he added.
Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett is thought to be the first salmon company to invest in this new method of electric operation, and will be introducing it on at least two of its sites.
Knutsen said he is now looking at using ‘shore power’ to operate at two other sites, but if that becomes too expensive then the battery packs will be brought in.
However, with the price of a battery pack at around three million kroner (£265,000), adopting the new system is not cheap, and it is expected to take more than a year before the company recovers its investment.
Kvarøy Fiskeoppdrett has 23 employees and is expected to harvest 7,500 tonnes of salmon this year.
Its main customer is Whole Foods Market, which has almost 500 stores across the United States.
It describes itself as ‘America’s healthiest grocery store’, well known for its organic products and focused on foods free from hydrogenated fats and artificial preservatives. It has given its backing to the Norwegian experiment.