RAY OF LIGHT: Conanicut Marine Services began operating a solar array at its Taylor Point boatyard in Jamestown this fall.
COURTESY EDWARD GODFREY
By Patricia Daddona PBN Staff Writer
“Green” and “clean” are adjectives being used increasingly to describe Rhode Island marinas, as well as the boats that take harbor there.
Conanicut Marine Services in Jamestown was recently recognized not only with a Clean Marina designation from the Coastal Resources Management Council for sound environmental practices that go beyond regulatory requirements, but also by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee for its new solar array, which powers Conanicut’s 10-acre Taylor Point boatyard.
The $600,000 photovoltaic system also will provide excess energy to National Grid for the next 15 years, said Bill Munger, Conanicut’s president and founder, in a recent interview.
“We make our living around clean water, clean air,” Munger said, explaining why he undertook the project. “The boating public wants to be around facilities that are clean. They are very much aware of the environment. It just makes good business sense, as well as environmental sense.”
Representatives of Conanicut, other marinas, and business owners who specialize in “green” and “clean” technologies attended a lecture on Nov. 4 by Bruce Corliss, dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island entitled “Green Boats and Marinas.”
The talk, which focused on green boating fleets, was part of a larger, daylong program held at the school’s Coastal Institute in Narragansett entitled “Innovation in Oceanography, Ocean Engineering, Defense and Marine Trades.” The annual meeting of the Bristol-based Rhode Island Marine Trades Association followed.
Corliss is planning to include a focus not only on green boats and ports, but on marinas, at a workshop he is planning for this coming spring.