Bell Aquaculture Launches New Emergency Demand Response Program to Conserve Energy

Bell Aquaculture is one of the first companies in Indiana to implement a new emergency energy conservation program introduced in 2011 by AEP-Indiana Michigan Power. The Redkey-based company, operating the nation's largest yellow perch farm, has installed smart meters and control systems for standby generating equipment to provide for all its power needs during an energy emergency.

Redkey, IN, March 27, 2012 --( Bell Aquaculture, a pioneer in sustainable fish farming operations, is one of the first companies in Indiana to implement a new emergency energy conservation program introduced in 2011 by AEP-Indiana Michigan Power for commercial and industrial customers. The announcement is made jointly by Norman McCowan, President of Bell Aquaculture, and Mike Barrett, Controls Manager for Havel-Shambaugh, the Fort Wayne-based company that engineered the project for Bell Aquaculture.

As a result of this program, according to McCowan, Bell Aquaculture has installed smart meters and control systems for standby generating equipment to provide for all its power needs during an energy emergency. Energy emergencies are common in some parts of the country, but are virtually unheard of in Northeast Indiana. Such emergencies occur when the demand for electric power exceeds the power grid’s ability to supply it. Energy emergencies are often triggered by unusual weather, but also could be the result of an unexpected loss of a generating plant or a transmission line.

“Bell Aquaculture has taken sustainability to a new level and now has the capability to seamlessly satisfy all of its electric power needs during an energy emergency, allowing the utility to focus its capacity on serving its other customers, while Bell Aquaculture continues its operations without interruption,” Barrett says. "Participation in demand response not only helps stretch energy budgets, it also helps the utility make better use of their generation and transmission capabilities. All rate-payers realize a benefit when utilities are able to do more with their existing resources.”

In April 2011, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved an emergency demand response program for AEP’s industrial, commercial, institutional, and government electric power customers. The program pays large power users who agree to curtail their electric power demand if an energy emergency occurs. Participating entities receive a substantial participation payment from the utility, but these payments are far less than the cost of building additional peak generating capacity. An additional payment is made by the utility if an emergency event is called. AEP also provides sophisticated interval power meters to program participants.

Bell Perch™ Yellow Perch: Yellow perch is one of the most popular of all North American pan fish. It has a mild, sweet flavor with firm white flesh and low fat levels, making it a favorite in residential and commercial kitchens alike. There’s no taste difference from wild-caught like some other farmed species. In years past, yellow perch was the fish typically served at "Friday Night Fish Fry" events in the Great Lakes region, particularly during Lent (the period prior to Easter).

"The greatest difficulty in recent years has been the diminishing supply of yellow perch coming out of Lake Erie – the predominant lake for the supply of wild-caught yellow perch," McCowan explains. Bell Aquaculture recently completed an expansion begun in mid-2011, which is adding an additional 450 metric tons of production, with an additional expansion planned for 2012, adding 500 metric tons of production.

The closed-containment system technology used in the expansion was designed by engineers at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute to reduce its environmental impact. The new water recirculating systems at Bell Aquaculture minimize water use, maximize waste capture, and practically eliminate disease interaction between farmed and wild fish. Summerfelt notes that, “the production systems maintain ideal water quality for yellow perch while operating on less than one-half of one percent of the water required to produce the same weight of fish in more traditional production systems.” For more information, visit:

Bell Aquaculture was formed in 2005 and is committed to these four guiding principles in producing its fish:

1) Controlled indoor environment
2) Toxin & mercury free – no hormones used
3) Healthy growth
4) Gentle to the environment

For complete information about Bell Aquaculture's sustainability and stewardship initiatives, visit:

About Havel-Shambaugh

Havel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EMCOR Group, Inc. provides end-to-end facility design, operation, and maintenance services for a variety of markets and facilities. For more information, visit:

About Indiana Michigan Power Energy Efficiency Programs

C&I Rebates Program: Offers cash rebates to commercial and industrial customers for the purchase and installation of qualifying energy efficient products and equipment. For more information, visit

About Bell Aquaculture

Bell Aquaculture, headquartered in Redkey, IN, is a producer and processor of farm-raised fish for restaurants and consumer use. Production facilities, dedicated to yellow perch, are located in Albany, IN, and comprise the nation’s largest yellow perch farm. Visit

Bell Aquaculture also is found on these social media sites:
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Media Contacts:

Maggie Holben, Bell Aquaculture Media Relations, 303-984-9801,

Mike Barrett, Havel-Shambaugh, (260) 487-7929,
Bell Aquaculture
Maggie Holben