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Shoals Marine Lab celebrates its sustainability

J.A. Coyer
Wind turbine and solar panels on Appledore Island.

Shoals Marine Lab, on Appledore Island six miles off the Maine coast, celebrated 10 years of dedication to sustainability and a newly upgraded green energy infrastructure on the island Aug. 20 at the lab; 30 guests ferried over from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

SML engineers recently added 94 solar panels – all funded by lab supporters and alumni – to the island’s existing wind and solar green energy grid, raising the island’s total solar energy capacity to 56 kilowatts.  

“Our electrical demands for a 95-acre campus are similar to a community of 10-12 houses, which is an ideal standard for setting up solar and wind systems, according to many in the green power world” said Alex Brickett, Shoals Marine Lab’s lead engineer.

Solar panels and energy efficient lights and appliances have decreased the island’s previous diesel fuel consumption for power to just 1,500 gallons in 2015, a 75 percent decrease since SML began dedicating itself to sustainability a decade ago. 

- Krishna Ramanujan