Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has taken delivery of its first hybrid feed barge, which runs on a combination of diesel and electric power.
The barge, SM95, has been deployed at Cooke Aquaculture Scotland’s Mill Bay organic site in Stronsay, Orkney by Inverness-based aquaculture supply company Gael Force Group, working in partnership with Norwegian sustainability leaders Fjord Maritime, who developed the hybrid technology.
It is also the first hybrid barge delivered by Gael Force and, for Fjord Maritime, the first time its hybrid technology has been deployed outside Norway.
The barge’s auxiliary diesel generator will only operate to recharge batteries on the barge, which are then used to power the barge’s own operation and to provide electricity for the seawater site.
In 2019 Cooke initiated a review of barge power as part of itsISO 14001 environmental management objectives to explore alternative sources of power supply to the company’s seawater sites in Orkney and Shetland.
The hybrid battery solution that was selected automates power supply and optimises use of generators, batteries, electrical drives and control systems. Modelling confirms, Cooke said, that this will reduce generator run time by up to 90% and fuel consumption by up to 60%.
The SM95 barge is expected to achieve carbon savings of approximately 146 tonnes of CO2 every year, which is equivalent to removing 55 cars from the roads.
Fjord’s hybrid solution can be operated remotely through the Fjord Control system, which continuously transmits information about status and any unexpected event
Stewart Rendall, North Isles Manager at Cooke Aquaculture Scotland said: “Cooke Aquaculture is committed to sustainability. Farm-raised salmon already have one of the lowest carbon footprints but there is always more we can do to minimise any impact on the environment and play our part in tackling climate change.
“This is a significant investment but one that makes economic and environmental sense.
“Our new hybrid feed barge in Orkney has been developed by partners with a strong track record and we have a high degree of confidence in the expected performance of our new hybrid barge.
“We are already exploring options to deploy this technology on other barges across our fleet in Orkney and Shetland which would further lighten our carbon footprint.”