Solar power conversion underway at iconic West Virginia business

Local News

MALDEN, WV (WOWK) The historic J.Q. Dickinson Salt-works in Eastern Kanawha County has produced salt for more than 200 years.

Then, salt was more valuable than coal for its ability to preserve meats and its world-renowned product has been managed by the Dickinson family for seven generations now.

But this newest generation says while history is a good thing so is change. This includes converting to solar power.

Photo by WOWK 13 News/Mark Curtis

“I think it’s the right thing to do. I think that even though we are a state based on fossil fuel extraction, we need to take care of our land and our earth. And this is a way to do that better.”

Nancy Bruns, co-owner, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-works.

These solar panels will cut down on huge electric bills, all while producing clean energy and creating jobs.

“Solar, which has been up and coming in Virginia and Ohio, but it’s now really taking root here in West Virginia. And you know it could be a huge benefit for our businesses around, to have solar installed on their buildings. I’m hoping it sets that example.”

Zach Drennen, Revolt Energy

“Probably 75% of our power usage will be fueled by solar. And we’ll probably install more panels down the road,” said Nancy Bruns, Co-owner, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-works.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided a grant to pay for 25% of this solar project, and the agency is trying to encourage more companies to convert to clean energy.

“The owners at Dickinson Salt-works say they’ll save a small fortune on their electric bill by converting to solar. In fact they estimate they’ll make back their entire investment in five to seven years,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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