All-electric salmon farm now a reality
October 7, 2020 | By Liza Mayer
A Norwegian farm has become the world’s first to run entirely on shore power.
Many fish farmers have shore power to their sites but the farm of Bremnes Seashore in Ålfjorden in Sveio Municipality is the first to supply shore power to the entire operation – from the work vessel, staff transport vessel, net cleaning, feed barge, all the way to the pen operations.
Nonprofit group Clear Seas defines shore power as the process of providing electrical power from the shore to a docked ship (but in this case, the entire farm’s day-to-day functioning) thereby allowing the ship’s engines to be turned off and the burning of diesel fuel to cease.
Bremnes Seashore says it wasn’t easy to provide sufficient electrical power from shore to pen. One challenge was the equipment had to withstand the damp and at times harsh climate found on a fish farm. But the farmer and its partners, tech provider ABB and Oslo-based environmental group Bellona Foundation found a way.
Bellona says the project shows a path forward for the whole industry. It says investments in a fully electric shore power supply will pay off in the longer term.
“Aquaculture must reduce its climate gas footprint, and emissions from production is a part of this. The local environmental gain is also important. Through electrification, fish welfare increases, and the risk of diesel spills are reduced. Additionally, all noise from diesel generators is eliminated. This improves the work environment and helps the local community,” says Christian Eriksen, head of policy and research at Bellona.
Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg hopes that this starts the electrification of the fish farming industry in Norway – and perhaps, the global industry.
Bremnes Seashore has 23 farm sites, including the all-electric farm. Together, they produce 500,000 salmon meals per day, says the company.