The feed barge at Cooke's Copister site has been fitted with hybrid technology, reducing fuel use and emissions.

Cooke deploys its first Shetland hybrid barge


Salmon farmer Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has deployed its first hybrid-power feed barge in Shetland to further reduce its carbon footprint.

The retrofitted hybrid system, built by Fjord Maritime UK for the Copister farm site in Yell, is the third to be implemented by Cooke Scotland following successful results from previous installations at Orkney sites at Mill Bay and Vestness.

The hybrid system reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, and extends the life of the generator and equipment by using the residual capacity from the generator to charge a bank of batteries that take over power provision when fully charged.

In a 24-hour period, the Copister barge can gain up to 20 hours of running time from the batteries alone and only relies on four to six hours of power from the barge engine.

Sustainable feeding

Arnold Brown, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland site manager for Copister, said: “Here at sea, we raise our fish with care, and that includes ensuring we are using the latest technology to sustainably feed them.

“Yell was one of six islands chosen as part of the Scottish Government’s Carbon Neutral Islands scheme and hybrid barges will contribute towards its ambition to make the whole country net zero by 2045.”

Fjord Maritime UK managing director Steve Burns said: “We are honoured to be chosen to partner with Cooke’s commitment to low-impact farming. Our hybrid technology and systems monitoring platform will ensure that Cooke leads the way in carbon footprint reduction.”