Alaska Plant Touts Wind Turbine Produced Salmon

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) -- Salmon processed at a Kodiak plant will be getting a new label touting is connection to sustainable energy.

Island Seafoods hopes to attract customers by noting that its fish were processed with power from Kodiak Electric Association's Pillar Mountain wind turbines.

"We're going to have a green label that says something like, 'Sustainable fish produced by clean, sustainable wind turbine energy,"' Island Seafoods general manager John Whiddon told the Kodiak Daily Mirror.

Electricity from the turbines will not be routed to Island Seafoods any more than to any home or business on the grid. But the company uses less energy than the turbines produce and will make the sustainable energy claim with the utility's blessing.

KEA president and CEO Darron Scott suggested the idea of a joint marketing agreement.

"I had seen other products like this down south and it seemed like good marketing," he said. "It seemed great for our co-op here to add value to our membership, especially with the wild Alaskan salmon and the wild Alaskan halibut."

Island Seafoods hopes environmentally conscious consumers will be more drawn to fish that is wild, part of a sustainable fishery, and part of an electricity grid that is trying to move away from diesel fuel.

KEA began using the three 1.5-megawatt turbines on Pillar Mountain last summer. They produce about 9 percent of Kodiak's power needs and have saved more than 900,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

Fish processors now use about three times as much energy as the turbines produce -- about 30 percent of Kodiak's consumption. However, other Kodiak processors might be able to get on board because not all the energy they use goes to processing halibut and salmon.

"I doubt this would work as well for pollock," Scott said.

For Island Seafoods, the sustainable energy brand is not the only part of the label that's changing. The plant next month will be renamed to correspond with its parent company -- Clackamas, Ore.-based Pacific Seafoods.