Combining battery and diesel power, the hybrid power system for the feed storage barge, which carries bespoke Loch Duart fish feed, is designed to significantly reduce carbon emissions, said the company.
Loch Duart currently produces 6,000 tons of salmon each year from its farms in Sutherland and the Outer Hebrides; it employs 140 people.
The hybrid system for feed storage barges developed by ScaleAQ uses an Environmental Management System (EMS) to ensure lower levels of diesel consumption and consequently lower emissions of CO2, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxide. The DNV-GL (Det Norske Veritas) approved, cobalt-free batteries ensure installations are safe and have a long service life.
It estimated that the feed storage barge will reduce the site’s diesel consumption by up to 60% when compared to standard diesel systems, while the CO2 emissions from the production of the batteries will be earned back after around 60 days of use of the hybrid system at sea, according to Loch Duart.
Additionally, by taking lorries off the road and delivering the feed fresh and straight from the producer by sea, there are additional CO2 savings, it noted.
There is also the additional benefit of noise reduction through the use of an electric motor, ensuring a quieter environment for the farm team, the fish and neighboring wildlife, reported the company. Lower loads on the generator means less maintenance is required, prolonging the lifespan of the vessel.
Industry first for Scotland
Hazel Wade, operations manager of Loch Duart, said:
“Loch Duart is excited to introduce this system on one of our sea sites, an industry first for Scotland. Our aim has always been to rear the best quality salmon with the lowest possible impact on the environment. This system represents a significant step forward, reducing our fuel usage and emissions while ensuring quieter operations for the team, our salmon, and the local environment.
“The new hybrid feed storage barge also provides enhanced staff welfare facilities for our people working at sea, often in harsh weather conditions. Loch Duart views this development as the beginning of our goal to further reduce the carbon footprint of all our farming operations.”