What is powered by the sun, provides nutrition, but decreases nutrients? Someday you might hear this question asked on Jeopardy, and you’ll want to be ready with the answer, “What is Solar Oysters?”
Solar Oysters, LLC, a member of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance, offers an automated aquaculture system that can generate valuable protein, generate nutrient credits, and restore native oyster populations using solar energy.
This joint venture formed by the Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) and EcoLogix Group, Inc. and their automated “floatovoltaic” Solar Oyster Production System (SOPS) has the potential to produce up to 2.4 million oysters in 45 times less space than a traditional farm. The SOPS technology can help address Maryland’s target nitrogen reduction shortfall, which the EPA has mandated that Maryland must advance by 2025 to remain on target.
“Oysters not only contribute to our food supply but also provide immense benefits to the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways through their ability to remove nitrogen and phosphorus in the water. The oysters in our largest unit filter up to 43 billion gallons of water per year and could offset the nitrogen load the same as replacing 90 acres of impervious surface with forest,” said Mark Rice, President of MAPC.
“Currently, there is very little automation in the industry, and it can be back-breaking work. We’re offering low environmental impact, sustainable protein production. We are also very focused on the need to restore native oyster populations,” said Elizabeth Hines, Vice President at MAPC.
“The Solar Oyster Production System is a novel, innovative technology that has the potential to generate nutrient credits as well as serve as a sustainable food source, all powered by solar energy,” said Principal Steve Pattison of EcoLogix Group Inc.
Being featured as a question on Jeopardy just may not be that far off. Solar Oysters has been attracting a lot of media attention. They were recently featured on several podcasts, local television and in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and the Chesapeake Bay Journal, among other national and international media outlets.
To learn more about Solar Oysters LLC and check out an animated rendering of the concept, please visit www.solaroysters.com.