Excerpt from William Stoichevski article published in Salmon Business. Link to original article here.
Electric Aquaculture Vessels Could Hit Canadian Waters Soon
Electrification of the growing fleet of aquaculture workboats is now underway. Last year the world’s first battery-powered work boat for fish farming was launched with enormous success. The fully electric Elfrida has been operating in the coastal waters of Norway since February 2017.
The vessel, which is powered by 156kWh of PBES Power batteries, provides up to 12 knots speed and a full eight-hour shift per charge. Not only does the system eliminate emissions, the fact there is no noise, vibration or diesel fumes provides greater crew comfort, less fatigue and leads to safer working conditions onboard. Best of all, the vessel requires no diesel fuel, dramatically reducing operating costs.
The Technology Shift Coming to Canada
Stavanger-based Blueday Technology has recently won a contract to deliver the same emissions-cutting technology to the fish-farming operations of Grieg Seafood.
Blueday, formerly Halvorsen Power Systems, integrates batteries into a vessel’s onboard power and propulstion system, while traditionally also providing stationary power generators. Its new SMART Hybrid Power solutions of integrated wind, solar and battery power will, it is understood, replace diesel generators and other aquaculture-related power producers at Grieg’s remote grow-outs like those in British Columbia, Canada.
No More Diesel Leaks in Sensitive Waters
Fish-farmers operating in B.C. have come under harsh criticism for repeat diesel leaks, although diesel generators remain the “preferred” power solution all along the Pacific Northwest, right up through Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. If Blueday can keep costs down, that Pacific preference might change.
Blueday Technology, like onboard power integrators Siemens and ABB, are understood to use the battery technology of Canadian/Norwegian-based PBES Norway, founded by B.C. entrepreneur, Brent Perry. Both Blueday, which offers battery “choice”, and PBES have been along in the conversion of a growing number of Norwegian vessels — from ferries to fishing vessels — to hybrid and fully electric energy conversion.
Battery/electric propulsion systems for ships can provide propulsion and house power for the full route as well as the working day aboard the vessel. This saves not only fuel but also operating costs, because an electric motor requires maintenance much less often than a diesel engine. Furthermore, work on an electric boat is eco-friendly for workers because of the absence of the exhaust gases, vibrations, and noise produced by a diesel engine.
Grieg’s use of Blueday’s solution in Canada could be timed to perfection, as the Canadian government has just allotted millions of dollars for small and medium-sized fish farmers to get “greener” by investing in more energy-efficient designs of all sorts. The Blueday communique wasn’t clear on the configuration of the “green power” solution in their Grieg contract, but stationary power for Grieg sites in Canada is implied here. Grieg Seafood will now be greening fish farming assets and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Heggebo was quoted as saying.