Media Archive

Maine Generator & Solar Power provides energy alternatives

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 21, May 21, 2003

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

Observer Photo
ENERGETIC COUPLE Kent and Karen Ladd are co-owners of Maine Generator & Solar Power in Milo. The business serves the state of Maine, as well as corporate clients, such as Verizon, across the New England states.

MILO As the state's population becomes more sprawled out, many homeowners and businesses are turning to alternative energy sources.

Instead of simply plugging into the traditional power supply - which may or may ,not be available in some rural locations - many are turning to power generators and solar power.

Just ask Kent and Karen Ladd, co-owners of Maine Generator & Solar Power of Milo.

"I deal a lot with remote locations," said Kent Ladd, "especially up here in the woods."

Kent Ladd, who grew up in Milo and attended local schools, started working on power generation equipment 22 years ago, when he received training while serving in the United States Air Force from 1979 to 1984.

Upon leaving the military service and returning home, Kent Ladd worked for Leen Company and Caterpillar, again specializing in generators. He started his own business, Maine Generators, with wife, Karen, in 1995 because he didn't like the way bigger companies "lost a personal touch with customers."

He said that generators are common at sporting camps, but also are utilized to sustain large commercial operations, such as the Old Town Lumber Co. in Old Town. Some look to generators as a back-up source of power, in case of an outage, like nursing homes. He said there are generators available for almost any need, but he said that there is some hands-on, mechanical knowledge necessary for users.

He also cautioned against self-installation &Mac247; which, he said, can lead to fires.

"That's where the negativity about generators comes from ... people are going to big chain stores, and doing their own installation," he said.

I either sell my generators completely installed as a package, or I include a first start-up inspection."

Generator lines that the company deals in include Northern Lights, Kohler and Yamaha.

The business' specialty in solar power evolved after Baxter State Park, a Maine Generators customer asked Ladd to investigate and install solar power in three forest ranger cabins. "They wanted something that was renewable energy, and the panels were able to run the whole cabins with no gas," he said.

As the cost of electricity has risen, and more people are becoming conscious about emissions, solar power's attraction is increasing, along with other alternative energies, such as wind power.

"Solar is getting to be big business," he added.

Sunlight charges batteries that are installed in the solar panels, producing DC electricity, which then passes through an inverter to change the power to AC electricity they power that most commonly is used in households.

Every year, the Ladds attend solar power conventions to leam from experts on solar power and dealers across the nation, as well as to stay informed of the latest equipment.

The business now is a dealer for Shell Solar (formerly Siemens), Trace Inverters, SunWize and UniSolar, among other product lines.

Kent Ladd said that most users note substantial savings in electricity costs in the long-term, by transitioning off "the grid."

The Ladds live in Lakeview Plantation with sons, Eli, a freshman at University of Maine at Orono, and Levi, a sophomore at University of Maine in Farmington.

For more information or a free consultation, call Kent Ladd at Maine Generators & Solar Power 965-8774, and he will tailor a system for your need.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.