ABB’s fully electric fish farm solution reduces carbon emissions, noise pollution and operating costs. “We are helping the aquaculture industry to electrify fish farms and related operations. In so doing, we are preparing the industry to meet future growth sustainably,” says Lars Wasa Andersen, Aquaculture Sales Specialist at ABB Norway.
Aquaculture provides over half of the world’s seafood protein. The industry has the potential to feed an ever-growing population, but it must be done sustainably. This is not always the case, however.
“Aquaculture has been slow to decarbonise. Many fish farms still rely on diesel-powered generators that pollute the air. The generators also create excessive noise and vibration, which can negatively affect humans and marine life. Fuel spills can occur as well,” explains Andersen.
ABB Norway delivers a fully electric solution for sea-based aquaculture. Rather than using onsite diesel generators, fish farms can use electricity from the onshore power grid. When the electricity is generated from renewable sources, the fish farms can operate with zero emissions.
“Our solution includes power outlets for charging electric work boats at fish farms. In addition, energy consuming equipment such as net cleaners can operate without diesel engines. These are just two unique aspects of our design,” says Andersen.
In Norway, many fish farms use some shore power already, meaning that they are partially electric. However, ABB is the first to design a fully electric fish farm. Its solution supplies shore power all the way to the pens, enabling electric-powered energy-intensive operations.
ABB also collaborated with the environmental NGO Bellona and salmon producer Bremnes Seashore on the world’s first zero-emission fish farm, which was opened in Norway in 2020.
ABB’s solution can eliminate all fossil fuels in a fish farm’s day-to-day operations, dramatically reducing carbon emissions. The absence of diesel generators reduces noise and vibration as well. This improves the working environment and recreational conditions on and near the shoreline.
“Our solution also cuts operating costs for fish farmers through reduced maintenance, among other things. In addition, taxes on fossil fuel use will likely rise, as part of the effort to achieve global climate targets. We can help fish farmers to switch to clean power and save money,” says Andersen. Moreover, ABB helps fish farms to meet company, industry and government sustainability goals.
Aquaculture production is projected to reach 109 million metric tons by 2030, an increase of 32 per cent since 2018. At the same time, the industry is facing growing pressure from consumers, shareholders and governments to reduce its environmental footprint.
“Fish farms that do not increase their sustainability will be left behind. Outside of Norway, very few sites are connected to the onshore power grid. As a result, they use a huge amount of diesel. We’ve had fish farmers contacting us from Scotland and Chile. We believe that our solution can fill a gap in the international market,” says Andersen.
He adds that ABB tailors its solution to each customer, taking country-specific challenges and energy mixes into account. In the future, the company plans to expand its market for the power-from-shore solution both within Norway and internationally.
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