Battery and Renewable Power for Oyster Farming

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2023: $29,836.00
Projected End Date: 11/30/2026
Grant Recipient: Maine Ocean Farms
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Project Leader:
William Leathers
Maine Ocean Farms


  • Animals: other


  • Animal Production: aquaculture

    Proposal summary:

    Oyster tumblers, sorters, and pressure washers are currently powered by generators on our farms. We will demonstrate that these generators can be replaced with batteries that are recharged by solar panels and micro wind turbines. We will also assess powering an floating upweller system (FLUPSY).

    Using prototype configurations of off-the-shelf components and equipment, ruggedized for on-sea deployment, we will perform on-farm demonstrations of climate-smart aquaculture practices. We will design, install, and for three seasons operate standard oyster farming equipment powered by clean energy.  Batteries will be charged by solar panels and micro wind turbines; the batteries will power all of the equipment on an oyster farm:  an oyster tumbler, sorter, pressure washer, and an upweller. The system will have onboard remote monitoring via cellular connection to track power generation and usage. 

    Through this project, we will demonstrate, document, and share information on how to fully replace gas generators on oyster farms with battery and renewable power.  Our network of oyster, kelp, mussel, and scallop farmers will facilitate streamlined collaboration with dozens of sea farmers.  We are well-connected to organizations who will help us proliferate learnings and help finance industry adoption of the prototype system (e.g. Atlantic Corporation, Maine Sea Grant, Sea Meadow Marine Foundation, Maine Aquaculture Association, Island Institute, Maine Technology Institute, Coastal Enterprises Inc., Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, and others).

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to demonstrate a prototype system of clean power solutions for oyster farms through seven project objectives:

    1) Confirm power needs for the equipment on our oyster farms

    2) Design and build a prototype system using readily-available batteries, renewables, and components to power our equipment

    3) Deploy and test the prototype system on our farms

    4) Monitor power generation, usage, and deterioration to assess needs of additional power generation, battery energy storage, weatherproofing, and usability features

    5) Make improvements prior to second- and third-year operation

    6) Demonstrate equipment and operation to other oyster farmers

    7) Document, share, and educate industry participants on results, designs, benefits, and how to deploy similar solutions on their farms

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.