Energy efficiency efforts reduce oyster grower’s energy use by 75%
Pacific Seafood operates one of the world’s largest shellfish hatcheries, cultivating juvenile oysters, called seeds, in Washington’s rural town of Quilcene. Capable of producing over 50 billion oyster larvae each year, Pacific Seafood requires a lot of electricity to power the lights used in its many hoop houses. Raised in large saltwater tanks, oyster larvae consume hundreds of thousands of gallons of algae as they grow into seeds the size of grains of salt.
Earlier this year, Jefferson County PUD saw an opportunity to aid Pacific Seafood with lighting upgrades. Replacing the large metal 1,000-watt halide bulbs with energy-efficient 250-watt LEDs has led to a 75% reduction in the company’s Quilcene facility power consumption for lighting. The project used the utility’s Energy Efficiency Incentive fund, provided by the Bonneville Power Administration.
“When you think about hoop houses filled with high-powered grow lights, baby oysters isn’t the first crop that comes to mind – even in our county, which has a long history with the shellfish industry,” says Will O’Donnell, broadband and communications director, Jefferson County PUD. “It was great to visit Pacific Seafood’s operation in Quilcene and see in person the impact our BPA-funded EEI program would have on their historic operation, changing out 241 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs for 250-watt LEDs.”
Since the lighting upgrades at their Quilcene hatchery, Pacific Seafood expects to save over one million kilowatt-hours in electricity, along with reducing its electric bill by $130,000 each year.
“This was an exciting and unique opportunity to vastly reduce Pacific Seafood’s energy usage,” says Andy Gerde a field specialist with the Trade Ally Network NW.
Biennially, BPA provides Jefferson County PUD with about $900,000 in reimbursements toward energy efficiency improvements. These dollars help pay for energy savings projects like Pacific Seafood’s lighting upgrade, along with others in businesses and homes throughout Jefferson County PUD’s service territory. BPA’s funding efforts support its mission to save electricity while meeting the needs of the Northwest without acquiring additional generation.