Mull salmon farm’s ‘fantastic’ results

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Scottish Sea Farms is piloting a new power system at Loch Spelve on Mull to significantly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

The company said it is part of its drive to be more sustainable and contribute to the Scottish Government’s ambition to be net zero by 2045.

It involves a ‘bespoke hybrid power system’ aboard its feed barge.

Alan Tangny Loch Spelve Farm manager

Alan Tangny, Loch Spelve Farm manager, said the results after just four months, have been ‘fantastic’ – achieving environmental and cost savings.

‘We used to be filling our diesel tank at least once a week and now we’re probably getting four times longer between fills,’ said Mr Tangny.

The kit was designed, built and is monitored by Aqua Power Technologies.

It has been shown to have offset more than 32,000kg in carbon since the pilot began in September – comparable to the weight of a standard fuel tanker.

Sam Etherington, Aqua Power Technologies founder said the systems had been in existence for 20 years but is typically used in cars, underground trains and off-grid homes.

It had not been deployed on a salmon farm until he approached Scottish Sea Farms.

Mr Etherington said: ‘The hybrid system can be remotely configured farm by farm, according to power needs, to yield the highest savings.

‘The peak feeding times are between 10.30am and 2.30pm so all those other hours before and after, the hybrid maintains power to the farm, enabling savings to be made.’

The system also includes a real-time monitoring platform providing an insight into the farm’s ‘power use’ profile.

Sheena Gallie, Scottish Sea Farms environment manager, said: ‘This level of monitoring of our power use is something we wouldn’t have had otherwise.’

The total annual carbon offset over the course of a year is estimated at 79,400kg, the company said.

The annual net saving in diesel costs, based on today’s prices is calculated at around £18,000.

The company plans to identify other farms where it might be used.

Ms Gallie said: ‘There is a clear opportunity for the company to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and, in doing so, significantly reduce carbon emissions.’