The fish farm Loddetå is located in Ålfjorden in Sveio Municipality and is the world’s first fully electric fish farm. This means that the shore power supply not only reaches the feed barge, but goes all the way out to the pens, and supplies renewable energy to all heavy-duty operations. The pilot project is a partnership with The Bellona Foundation and ABB and many other subcontractors.
24th June 2020
The world’s first fully electric fish farm is Norwegian
Prime Minister Erna Solberg has opened the first fully electric fish farm, at Loddetå in Vestland county. Through this upgrade, Bremnes Seashore is eliminating all use of fossil fuel in the day-to-day operations at the site, a clear improvement in sustainability.
– Through this collaboration, The Bellona Foundation, ABB, and Bremnes Seashore have made a role model for the whole industry, said the Prime Minister. She added the hope that this was the start of the electrification of the fish farming industry in Norway.
Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn shared the Prime Minister’s wish for further electrification of the industry. – Fish farming creates enormous revenues for Norway, but the production has a footprint and emits climate gasses. We need more innovation to shift the industry to green solutions, and it is crucial to electrify what we can, Rotevatn adds.
The electrification is a result of a partnership between Bremnes Seashore, ABB, and Bellona.
In the spring of 2018, ABB and Bellona published the report “Salmon on shore power”. The rapport shows that it is possible to reduce climate gas emissions considerably with a push for fully electric shore power to fish farms. Now the testing is completed, and Wednesday 24th June the Prime Minister performed the official unveiling of the site.
Power to the pen
Many fish farmers have shore power to their sites. Bremnes Seashore is the first to supply shore power all the way to the pens, enabling electric-powered heavy operations. Amongst the investments is an electrically powered work vessel, now in operation at Loddetå.
– All of us at Bremnes Seashore are incredibly proud to be first in the world to run a fully electric-powered fish farm. This is possible thanks to a close partnership with ABB, Bellona, and other participants. With shore power to the pens, we can perform operations that demand extensive power supply with renewable energy. Fully electric fish farms are good news for the staff, the fish, neighbours and the community as a whole, says Simon Nesse Økland, Head of Development at Bremnes Seashore.
Showing the path forward for the industry
Bellona believes that the project shows a path forward for the whole industry.
– 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.
Investments in a fully electric shore power supply are profitable in the longer term. How quickly this will happen depends on several factors, including any government subsidies.
Solutions to several challenges
Several challenges had to be solved to be able to run the fish farm at Loddetå with shore power to the pens. Together with ABB, Bremnes Seashore found solutions that provided sufficient electrical power all the way from shore to the pens. The equipment had to withstand the damp and at times harsh climate found on a fish farm.
– Bremnes Seashore is laying the groundwork for the rest of the fish farming industry, and we expect many others to move in the same direction over the next years. ABB has longstanding experience in electrification, and it has been important to use standard components in this project. By using high voltage, it is possible to supply more power, also to farms further offshore, says Lars Andersen, Sales Specialist at ABB.
Authorities can expedite the electrification
Enova has terminated the subsidies to install shore power for the fish farming industry, and no programs are available for investing in solutions to a full-electric power supply. This will slow down the electrification of the industry, a potential ripe for the picking, according to Bellona.
– The coronavirus package has supplied significant grants to Enova. We encourage Enova to start a new subsidy scheme for a full-electric power supply aimed at the fish farming industry. We will be happy to share our knowledge from this project, says Christian Eriksen, Head of Policy and Research at Bellona.