South Portland and Montville, Maine (January 29, 2024) – Wyman’s, one of the world's largest growers of wild blueberries, has partnered with ReVision Energy and nationwide solar developer REC Solar to install more than 17,000 solar panels on 35 acres of non-productive land Wyman’s owns in Downeast Maine. In the first year, the solar array is expected to generate 8.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, offsetting more than 8 million pounds of carbon every year. This reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent to planting 60,735 trees.
Wyman’s President and CEO Tony Shurman says the decision to go solar is an investment that is not only good for the environment, but also good for business. “For 150 years, we’ve been driven by the desire to produce healthy food, provide gainful employment, and protect natural resources,” said Shurman. “The decision to go solar fits squarely with our ethos to do the right thing and seek a better way. Being powered by the sun is an important opportunity to ensure Wyman’s continues to provide healthy fruit for another 150 years and beyond.”
Wild blueberries took root in Maine more than 10,000 years ago, after the glaciers receded, and Maine is the only state in the U.S. where wild blueberries are commercially grown in abundance. These berries grow in their natural ecosystem – there’s no artificial breeding or genetic modifications, and the plants are connected by an underground root system called rhizomes. This means in one bag of wild blueberries you’re getting a diverse mix and taste of berries from potentially tens of thousands of genotypes originating from the same field.
In the summer of 2022, in a continued effort to learn more about the uniqueness of wild blueberry plants, Wyman’s contribution to the University of Maine helped create Wyman’s Wild Blueberry Research and Innovation Center – a three-acre research and education site intended to develop innovative production techniques and train the nation’s next wild blueberry industry leaders.
“Wyman’s is an iconic, family-owned, and mission-driven company that embodies the spirit of Maine. It’s demonstrating that adopting solar energy is not a choice between environmental responsibility and what’s best for business,” said Fortunat Mueller, President and CEO of ReVision Energy. “Transitioning to clean energy not only safeguards our planet but also bolsters the company’s bottom line, and promotes the health and well-being of future generations. As someone who proudly includes Wyman’s wild blueberries in my daily smoothie, I’m thrilled that these nutritious ingredients will soon be sourced from a solar-powered operation. Both Maine and Wyman’s have a bright future with solar power.” The solar arrays will be installed on 35 acres of Wyman’s land that was deemed unsuitable for the growth of wild blueberries. The solar arrays are expected to be installed and operational by the end of 2024. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for next year.
“Stewardship of natural resources has been a top priority for Wyman’s for years and our team at REC Solar is honored to be a part of their clean energy transition,” said Lawrence Denney, REC Solar President. “We look forward to working with Wyman’s for years to come as the solar arrays help them reach their business and sustainability goals – and inspire the next generation of industry leaders.”