Tag Archives: subsidy

Something Sounds Fishy To Me- “Harpswell commercial wharf becomes first to get all its energy from ‘green’ sources, owner says”

Read the story here-

Harpswell commercial wharf becomes first to get all its energy from ‘green’ sources, owner says


Brandon Bernard, left, and Joe Maisonave carry one of 44 photovoltaic solar collection panels toward its place in a solar array on the roof of Reversing Falls Lobster Wharf in Harpswell recently. Each panel weighs about 44 pounds and can harness 240 watts of energy.

OK, let me first state that if this is true, that they could get all their energy to run their commercial lobster dock from these solar panels that would be fantastic.  The clean air, fantastic.  Less reliance on big oil, fantastic.


I’m not as sharp as I was when I was in college and  practicing my math skills on a daily basis but from what they are saying in the article-

“44 panels which can harness 240 watts of energy each.” 

That means you can power a bunch of lighting fixtures, right?  Assuming in an industrial space you are using 100 watt bulbs.  More than likely in huge industrial spaces I’m thinking your bulbs use more than 100 watt bulbs so maybe you could light the joint with 44 big lights?  44 panels times 240 watt lighting fixtures.  But someone once told me you could have every light in your house on but as soon as you turn on the toaster oven it uses way more energy than a bunch of lightbulbs.

Take our dock for example-

I have a seriously hard time believing that the juice that our 5 lobster tank recirculating pumps at 2.5 hp to 5 hp and are sucking water in large pipes 20 feet up from low tide up to the tanks and run 24/7 is equivalent to a bunch of lightbulbs even if you were lighting up a monstrous building. 


In my very conservative estimation the recirculating pumps use about 1000 times more energy here at our dock than whatever piddly money our lighting expenses are.  Then we have refrigeration and huge refrigeration compressors for our bait cooler where the pallets of bait are stored. 


Guaranteed that the energy those compressors pull are far greater than what 44 panels that can harness 240 watts of power when the sun is shining and not when it’s dark outside and our recirculating pumps are still pumping and our bait cooler compressors are still cooling. 

Oh but wait, then there’s the winches.  If you’ve seen the huge motors that turn the winch heads you know those bad boys are sucking down a huge amount of electricity to be able to lift three crates of lobsters at a time at close to 400lbs or tuna that can get to 1000 lbs, or three totes of bait at close to 450lbs.   These motors run those a good part of the afternoon and early morning.


So to me, the numbers in no way add up.  No way, no how.

But the media looooves to grab onto these stories because the green folks will always accept whatever the headline is as fact and run with it.  Once the things are half paid for with government (read taxpayer) subsidies and installed, they’re not going anywhere.

I have a very hard time accepting that this commercial lobster dock is going to power their entire operation from solar power even though they will market themselves that way and all the green lemmings will trip over themselves to go buy  lobsters there for $2-3 more a pound because they are using green technology that they as taxpayers footed half the bill for.

Hey if I’m wrong with the numbers and they can somehow squeeze 100 times more than 240 watts of power out of 40 panels and indeed run their lobster company with some type of new math, then congratulations!

The point for me is not if this was or wasn’t a good financial investment for the guys up in Harpswell.  I wish them the best, I really do.  What bugs the hell out of me though is the media’s acceptance of all these green technology wild claims because they know people eat that stuff up as it makes for a  feel good story regardless if the numbers add up or not.

Smells fishy to me though.