The project aims to develop an aquaculture pen concept suitable for UK open sea conditions, focusing on delivering new, competitive, safe, secure and environmentally sustainable aquaculture growth opportunities for the Scottish aquaculture market.
Inflatable Marine Products for Aquaculture Containment Technology (IMPACT) showed how novel flexible structures and inflatable beam elements could allow aquaculture at more exposed ocean locations. IMPACT builds on an earlier feasibility study, which defined a farm system architecture suitable for UK offshore ocean conditions. IMPACT delivered a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) of a sub-scale demonstration salmon production platform, termed Net9-S, suitable for deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. IMPACT was led by TTI Marine Renewables (TTI), applying learning from their own inflatable structures technology called “NetBuoy”. They were supported by technology owner Impact-9, test site owner EMEC and also blue economy developer Simply Blue, who led on offshore site consenting matters.
The project resulted in a Net9-S system specification and test site operations plan, defined to a level suitable to procure a demonstration project. Risks, including design-specific Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), showed how the proposed demonstration project can underpin technology and commercial readiness. The work incorporated numerous third-party expert studies, design assessments and validation steps including laboratory tests and numerical modelling. Equally important were the non-technical barriers to future technology exploitation including regulatory, environmental and the “social licence” to operate. These were the subject of a parallel work package that led to a regulatory and consenting framework for offshore aquaculture in Scotland, with studies undertaken in priority topics of fish swimming physiology and waste dispersion at target offshore zones.
Impact9 Energy and Marine Limited