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Chip, chip, hooray! Salmon farmer’s biomass-fuelled hatchery praised by minister

Scotland Office minister David Duguid, left, is given a tour of the Barcaldine hatchery by SSF sustainability chief Anne Anderson and Rory Conn, head of freshwater. Photo: SSF / Craig Stephen.
Scotland Office minister David Duguid, left, is given a tour of the Barcaldine hatchery by SSF sustainability chief Anne Anderson and Rory Conn, head of freshwater. Photo: SSF / Craig Stephen.

Salmon producer Scottish Sea Farms showed off the green attributes of its £58 million hatchery at Barcaldine, during a visit by Scotland Office minister David Duguid today.

Green technologies in operation at the hatchery include its 600kw biomass energy system, uses locally sourced, sustainably managed wood chip to provide the 17,500m² building with much of its heat and hot water. The biomass system, owned, installed and maintained by AMP Clean Energy, saves 683 tonnes of carbon a year compared with using oil – the equivalent of six million road miles per year by car.

During the tour, led by SSF head of sustainability Anne Anderson, Duguid also got to see Barcaldine’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), which uses 20 times less water than a traditional flow-through system.

Bruno Berardelli:
Bruno Berardelli: "This sustainable solution is a perfect example of how biomass heat can support net zero food production."

Heat exchangers

The RAS can also maintain a more constant water temperature, significantly reducing the energy needed to heat or cool water. Temperature is adjusted where necessary via heat pumps and heat exchangers, which are more energy efficient alternatives to traditional kerosene boilers or electric chillers, with the added ability to recover heat from wastewater for re-use.

Barcaldine also boasts wind and solar powered external lighting, and provision has been made for a hydro-electric scheme so that the hatchery can generate more energy in a greener way.

Duguid’s visit was part of a day-long tour of Argyll and Bute to see some the progress being made towards the United Kingdom becoming net zero. He also visited the pumped storage hydroelectric Cruachan Power Station, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) at Dunstaffnage, Oban, and met with representatives of the Community Inshore Fisheries Alliance, Clyde Fishermen’s Association and Fishermen’s Trust Infrastructure Project.

A truly local project

“Scottish Sea Farms’ water-saving and waste-recycling measures, coupled with the use of AMP Clean Energy’s environmentally-sound biomass heating system, prove that it is possible to forge ahead in innovation to sustain the sector while still meeting our net zero objectives,” said the minister.

Bruno Berardelli, head of asset services at AMP Clean Energy, added: “We’re proud to have worked in partnership with Scottish Sea Farms to fund, develop, own and operate a brand new, low carbon heat installation at their Barcaldine hatchery. This sustainable solution is a perfect example of how biomass heat can support net zero food production. It is a truly local project too, taking advantage of locally sourced wood chip and supported by the expert team at our Fort William office.”