Growing Oysters Under LEDs w/ Help from the PUD

One of the longest running and most successful greenhouse grow-ops in Jefferson County doesn’t grow anything leafy or green; they grow oysters, or more specifically, oyster seed.

Pacific (formerly Coast) Seafood has been growing oyster seed along Linger Longer Rd. in Quilcene for decades. Production takes place in dozens of saltwater tanks under hundreds of lights in multiple metal framed hoophouses.

Growing anything under artificial light is likely to lead to high electric bills. Pacific’s were especially costly as their long running facility used traditional large metal halide bulbs to provide the proper light needed to grow the hundreds of thousands of gallons of algae their oyster larvae consume to transform from microscopic organism to sand grain sized seed.

With help from the PUD’s energy efficiency rebate program, the crew at Pacific was able to swap out all of their older 1000 watt bulbs for new 250 watt LEDs, reducing power consumption by more than 75%. The conversion is estimated to save over 1 million kWh and $130,000 per year in oyster and algae growing electricity at their Quilcene facility.

The PUD’s energy efficiency program receives around $900,000 in funding every other year from the Bonneville Power Administration to help PUD customers invest in energy saving improvements to their homes and businesses. In 2020 these funds helped pay for multiple commercial lighting projects, 261 residential heat pumps, as well as dozens of window, water heater, insulation, and appliance upgrades.

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