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Biddeford boatyard receives federal recognition for commitment to clean energy

Sen. Angus King speaks in front of Rumery's Boatyard in Biddeford which received an award from USDA Rural Development. Displayed behind are boats and boatyard , Saco Bay Marine
Nick Song
/
Maine Public
Sen. Angus King speaks in front of Rumery's Boatyard in Biddeford which received an award from USDA Rural Development. Displayed behind are boats and buoys from Maine Electric Boat and Marine Solar Technologies.

The USDA awarded a clean energy award to Rumery's Boatyard for its installation of a solar panel system. The 19-kilowatt solar array at the Biddeford facility will provide 93% of the boatyard's total power consumption.

The Biddeford boatyard received a $28,000 grant to build the solar array from the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The federal program provides grant funding for renewable energy systems to small businesses located in rural areas.

"This is a prominent project," said Mayor Martin Grohman of Biddeford. "We'll be holding them up as an example [and] maybe bring them before city council meeting to further celebrate it. And I hope the phone's gonna ring for more of these opportunities."

The boatyard also houses two electricity-focused startups: Maine Electric Boat develops electric commercial vessels, and Marine Solar Technologies offers solar-powered water monitoring buoys.

"This [project] is also especially interesting because of how it plugs into the whole marine electrification opportunity that the overall state of Maine has," Grohman said. "So I'm obviously pretty proud as mayor to be able to say that Biddeford has a leadership role in that."

Grohman says the project is in support part of the City Council's larger climate action plan to eliminate gas emissions by 2050.

Nick Song is Maine Public's inaugural Emerging Voices Fellowship Reporter.


Originally from Southern California, Nick got his start in radio when he served as the programming director for his high school's radio station. He graduated with a degree in Journalism and History from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University -- where he was Co-News Director for WNUR 89.3 FM, the campus station.