POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009 - 11:12am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:23pm

One of Maine's leading custom boat builders is now building something very different...

It's a generator powered by solar panels that they hope will be used all over the world.

The Powercube is designed by Zach Lyman who says it's all about making solar simple.

"What's great about this is we are consciously not re-inventing the wheel. All the components inside and on top are off the shelf," said Lyman.

Lyman says the Powercube charges a small battery pack inside the box and will put out about three and a half kilowatts of electricity, about the same as a medium sized portable gasoline powered generator.

The research and development and fabrication of the first units is all being done at the Lyman Morse Yacht Company in Thomaston, Maine

Lyman has a solar energy business in Washington D.C and says the Powercube is generating a lot of interest from the military, from power companies, and government agencies who all want a quick way to make electricity without needing fuel trucks.

"So what people have approached us about is no longer, 'why would I ever bother with solar. It's a lot less power than a generator.' they're now saying, 'what can you get me in power that doesn't require me getting fuel to?' and so that's a huge shift on both the military side and on disaster response," said Lyman.

Lyman says the military already has several cubes deployed overseas.

He says power companies and government agencies are talking about buying cubes for disaster readiness.

The cubes are costly, $27,000 each.

But Lyman believes once they move into production this year, he hopes the price can be cut in half.

He compares the Powercube to the iPod, and believes there will be a big market for a high quality ready to go product.

Solar energy that's plug and play.

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