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BDC Assists Sportsman Boats in Going Solar at Production Facilities

Summerville Boat Builder Uses BDC's Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Program

Business Development Corporation (BDC) has helped a Lowcountry boat builder secure special financing for its investment in solar energy at its production facilities.

Sportsman Boats went through the SC Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan (EERL) program to help pay for the 800-kilowatt rooftop solar array the company installed at its operations in Summerville.

BDC administers the EERL program, which was established by the S.C. Energy Office and U.S. Department of Energy to encourage borrowers to invest in energy-efficient upgrades.

The solar panels sit atop a 118,000-square-foot production facility at Sportsman Boats, which shipped its first boat in 2012 and now has 250 employees engaged in the production of six lines of offshore, in-shore and center console models.

"Our investment in solar power makes sense financially and environmentally. BDC was instrumental in helping us secure the terms and incentives we needed to make this leading-edge investment work and we’re thrilled with how it's turned out," said Sportsman Boats President Tommy Hancock.

"Ensuring maximum efficiency in our daily operations is another way to make sure our company, people and products are positioned for dynamic growth for years to come. Generating our own solar power is key to that strategy," said Brinkley Melvin, Sportsman Boats co-owner.

"The EERL program is ideal for this kind of project and Sportsman Boats is the ideal user of this financing instrument. We're delighted to be able to help a homegrown enterprise add more momentum to its success," said Edwin O. Lesley, CEO and Board Chair of BDC, a Columbia-based non-bank lender that specializes in helping small businesses grow.

Pictured Left to Right: Brinkley Melvin, Edwin Lesley and Tommy Hancock.