Mobile Cat® rental generators keep shrimp farm humming during Hurricane Matthew

Customer: Island Fresh Seafood

Location: Meggett, South Carolina , USA

Customer Business Issue: Constant source of power to pump fresh saltwater into ponds for aquaculture business

Solution: (2) Cat® XQ45 generator sets

Cat® Dealer: Blanchard Power Systems

Hurricane Matthew

As a shrimp and clam farmer, Bill Cox depends on Cat Rental Power to provide a constant source of power to his South Carolina aquaculture business.

Hurricane Matthew

“We can’t afford to have a week off with no power. In the aquaculture business you’ve got to be able to depend on your power.”

Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew


As a shrimp and clam farmer, Bill Cox depends on a constant source of power to his South Carolina aquaculture business.

The ability to pump fresh saltwater into a dozen ponds is critical for healthy shrimp, as is the continued operation of aerators that maintain proper oxygen levels.

“We have big ponds where we pump water from the creek and rivers over to the farm, and we have to be able to supply water to each,” said Cox, who operates Island Fresh Seafood in Meggett, South Carolina.“The pumps have to run to maintain the water quality for the shrimp. The higher the water quality, the less stress on the shrimp, and the higher quality product you have to go to market – so it’s very important to have that.”

The ability to pump water through raceway water troughs is also critical to feed the clams, which feed off the algae and other organisms in the saltwater that comes from the nearby estuary.

“It’s all driven by power and we’ve got to have that power when we need it,” Cox said. “We can’t afford to have a week off with no power. In the aquaculture business, you’ve got to be able to depend on your power.”

“You cannot imagine the stress on a farmer,” Cox added. “When we have these thunderstorms coming up and the hurricane season hits, it’s a stressful time – and you’re watching the weather every day. When you have these generators in place, it provides tremendous peace of mind, because all you have to do is shut off shore power and switch over to generator power.”


Since its inception in 1992, Island Fresh has been leasing rental power from its Cat dealer, Blanchard Power Systems.

“We’ve been dealing with the same group of people, and they’ve been very good to work with,” Cox says. “When we need backup power, we call them and have the generators delivered on short notice, or we can pick them up.”


The originally provided 60 kW generator sets became so efficient that the company was able to switch over to 45-50 kW generator sets for running the pumps and aerators.

“What’s unique is they’re not just skid mounted generators, they’re trailer mounted,” Cox said. “If we have a situation where we need to run a pump in another part of the farm, we can literally just unhook four wires on the generator, throw the transfer switch, and move that generator with the truck or tractor to the other site. Then we can connect it to a box and fire up a set of pumps in a remote area. For us, the mobile aspect of these generators is fantastic.”

Cox also likes having the ability to flip a switch on the generator set to go from single-phase to three-phase power. The generator sets that run the pumps require three-phase power, while the generators at the clam seed hatchery run on single phase.

“These Cat rental generators are very quiet,” he noted. “In the past, a lot of the generators were noisy, but they’ve got these generator sets up now in enclosures on trailers that are really, really quiet. It keeps the noise level down, so you can hear what’s going on. They’re just really set up well.”

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