Halcyon Dive Systems of High Springs, Florida, is well known for its high-performance scuba equipment, ranging from back-mounted buoyancy compensators suitable for recreational divers to rebreathers used by technical divers. Lesser known are the company’s environmental initiatives.
Through close affiliation with Global Underwater Explorers, Halcyon supports a citizen-science program, as well as the removal of abandoned fishing nets to stop so-called “ghost fishing.” In June 2017, Halcyon took its environmental agenda one step further by turning on its network of 243 solar panels, producing as much as 75.33 kW of power.
Halcyon’s building, which houses offices, manufacturing facilities, and a shipping department, sits in a small but otherwise typical light-industrial center. With a grant from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Halcyon contracted Solar Impact to design and install a roof-top solar system. The panels produce about $15,000 per year in electricity, exceeding Halcyon’s on-site needs. Excess energy is sold back to the local power company.
While reducing costs for energy, the solar panels also reduce carbon emissions. Halcyon customers spend many hours driving and flying to and from dive sites, and now they can do so knowing that the company’s conversion to solar will reduce carbon emissions equivalent to those expected from driving 165,000 miles per year or from flying 360,000 miles per year.
A portion of Solar Impacts profits from installing Halcyon’s panels will carry environmental benefits even further through the company’s tree-planting initiative, which will support planting of 1,000 long-leaf pine saplings in Little Orange Creek Preserve in Hawthorne, Florida.
Employee morale is another benefit of the projects. Kaley Carter, recently graduated from the University of Florida and hired as Halcyon’s marketing manager, described her pre-employment interview:
“I asked what they were doing for the environment,” she said, “and they told me about the solar program. That’s what convinced me that Halcyon would be right for me. The environment is important to my generation.”
For more information, click here.
By: Bill Streever, ECO Contributor