Ocean Kinetics is leading the year-long collaborative project and has established a base at Malin House in the European Marine Science Park (EMSP) near Oban.
It is working with MMG Welding Ltd, which provides engineering design, fabrication and installation services to the salmon farming industry in the northwest of Ireland, and Edinburgh-based Stortera Ltd, a technology development business offering smart and flexible energy storage systems using flow battery technology.
Powering a town
StorTera offers both cabinet-style energy storage for homes, and large storage systems in shipping containers. A StorTera system utilising both is in use in the Town of Berwick, a town of around 2,500 people in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada.
The feed barge project has secured up to £129,428 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Ocean Kinetics’ founder and managing director John Henderson said: “Through the project, we aim to electrify fish farm barges using renewable energy, cutting the use of diesel generators, reducing operating costs, and lowering carbon emissions.
“This programme will deliver real financial and environmental benefits for the industry, and we are very much looking forward to sharing news of its progress at the Aviemore exhibition.”
The company is also keen to present other examples of its work in aquaculture, including the installation of a Thermolicer on Mull-based Inverlussa Marine Services’ new 26-metre multi-purpose vessel, the Kallista Helen, which is contracted to Scottish Sea Farms.
Henderson said: “We worked with (Norwegian equipment supplier) ScaleAQ on the design and manufacture of key elements of the Thermolicer, and the result has proved to be extremely efficient and highly effective. The pipework was designed and constructed for a swift and smooth journey for the fish, and a sophisticated separation system ensures that the sea lice are not released back into the marine environment.”
The Kallista Helen recently won Best Offshore Aquaculture Workboat in the Baird Maritime Awards, and Ocean Kinetics is a finalist in the Supplier of the Year category of the Aquaculture Awards 2022, which will be presented at a dinner in Aviemore on May 4. Aquaculture UK runs from May 3-5.