MALDEN, WV (WOWK) One of West Virginia’s most iconic businesses is in the process of a dramatic make-over. It’s a story you’ll only see first, here on WOWK 13 News.

Photo by WOWK 13 News/Mark Curtis

The historic J.Q. Dickinson Salt-works in Eastern Kanawha County is converting to solar energy. The company, which has produced world-renown gourmet salt for over 200 years, wants to operate in a more environmentally friendly direction.

Solar panels will cut down on huge electric bills all while producing clean energy.

“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, Nitro-based project manager

“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.

A federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay for 25% of the solar panel project. Dickinson Salt-works hopes to be carbon neutral by 2025.

We’ll have more on this exclusive story coming up at 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. only on WOWK 13 News.