Lobster Wharf Saves Money with Solar
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An excerpt from Commercial Currents: Addressing high energy costs contributed by Harry Podolsky and Stephenie MacLagan
“Money saved is money earned,” says Potts Harbor Lobster owner Jim Merryman.
Merryman has been a lobsterman all his life and wants to see the industry remain viable into the future. Even before he purchased a lobster wharf in Harpswell in 2010, Merryman had been exploring options to limit his environmental impact and learn about solar.
“I have seen a lot of changes on the water and in [the lobster industry]. Solar power is one way to address the impact we have on the environment. Compared to other renewable energy [technologies], solar was a smart way to go, given our wharf location,” Merryman said. In this case, helping the environment also served to save Merryman money and to make his company the first (and only) solar-powered wharf in Maine.
Interested in saving money and decreasing his carbon footprint, Merryman contacted ReVision Energy. “I wanted to do enough to have an impact—not just a panel or two,” said Merryman. The surface area available for solar panels was the limiting factor, but “we get 44% of our energy from the solar.”
Potts Harbor Lobster General Manager Sue Nelson said, “ReVision helped with most of the calculations, including how much energy we were going to need and how soon the solar panels would pay for themselves. They helped us get through the technical piece of the USDA grant.”