Conanicut Marine Services will welcome Gov. Lincoln Chafee to its Taylor Point boatyard to see the unveiling of a new addition that has transformed the company into a leader in environmental stewardship for the Rhode Island marine trades on Monday.
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 state’s distributedgeneration program, saving a significant amount of fossil fuel over the years to come.
The unveiling takes place on Monday, Oct. 21, at the Taylor Point boatyard. The public is welcome. Doors open at 8 a.m.
Conanicut Marine Services will also be designated as a clean marina by the Coastal Resources Management Council. The statewide program is designed to reward marinas that go beyond regulatory requirements by applying innovative pollution-prevention practices to their day-to-day operations.
According to Bill Munger, owner of the marina, factoring the environment into business decisions has been a part of the company’s way of operating since it 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 marina, 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 in East Greenwich that develops projects related to wind, solar and micro-hydro power.