Conanicut Marine a Green Leader in RI

Photo/ Conanicut Marine
Photo/ Conanicut Marine

On October 21, 2013, Conanicut Marine Services, Inc., in Jamestown, Rhode Island, will welcome Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, community leaders, and members of the public to its Taylor Point boat yard to see the unveiling of a new addition to the yard that has transformed the company into a leader in environmental stewardship for the Rhode Island marine trades.

Conanicut Marine
Photo/ Conanicut Marine

Attendees will get their first glimpse at the yard’s new solar photovoltaic system and its operation, which is the largest renewable-energy facility to be developed in the state’s marine trades to date. The system will not only provide 100 percent solar power to the 10-acre Taylor Point yard, it will also provide power to National Grid under the Rhode Island Distributed Generation Program, thereby saving a significant amount of fossil fuel over the years to come.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the unveiling at the boat yard at 260 Conanicus Avenue in Jamestown. Doors will open at 8 AM, and the program will begin at 8:30 AM.

Conanicut Marine Services will also receive its Clean Marina designation from the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. The statewide Clean Marina Program is designed to reward marinas that go beyond regulatory requirements by applying innovative pollution-prevention best management practices to their day-to-day operations.

According to Conanicut Marine Services President Bill Munger, factoring the environment into business decisions has been a part of the marina’s way of operating since the company was founded. “My wife and I founded the business in 1974, and we’ve built it shingle by shingle all these years,” said Munger. “But as we’ve grown we’ve always had an environmentally conscious mindset — and we’ve tried to do the right thing in the boating world.” The photovoltaic system is the most recent in a long line of innovations used at the company, including systems to protect both air and water quality.

The Taylor Point yard — the company’s inland facility that complements its waterfront marina and chandlery — has four boat sheds, two of which face south. When Munger went in search of a way the sunlight exposure on those sheds could be tapped he met Anthony Baro of E2SOL, a firm with U.S. offices in East Greenwich that develops projects related to wind, solar and microhydro power.

E2SOL designed a system that utilizes the roof space on each of the two south-facing sheds, which are both 210 feet long, and coordinated with several local professionals on the installation. The 128-kilowatt solar array will save nearly 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas over the next 25 years, the equivalent of roughly 7.4 million automobile miles.

Photo/Conanicut Marine
Photo/Conanicut Marine

“Conanicut Marine Services is an important leader in the marine community and offers an outstanding example for other marinas to follow by employing renewable energy and green practices in their operations,” said Janet Coit, director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Coit will be speaking at the event, along with Governor Chafee, Conanicut Marine Services President Bill Munger, and E2SOL Co-Founder Anthony Baro.

CEO of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association Wendy Mackie looks at the event as a great learning opportunity for the local community and other business owners. “The health of the outdoor environment is critical to our industry, and to our lives here in the Ocean State,” said Mackie. “I hope many business owners in Rhode Island will attend this event — to learn, and to see what can be possible with an environmentally conscious mindset.”

Read more about Conanicut Marine Services, Inc.

Read more about the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association.