2013-10-24 / Editorial

Conanicut Marine and the color green

Last October, Press reporter Ken Shane spoke to Bill Munger about operating the entire Taylor Point boatyard using alternative energy. Munger, the owner of Conanicut Marine, had already penned his name on a deal that would install solar panels to 420 linear feet of south-facing roofs.

“The foundation to hold panels was already there,” Munger told Shane, “so it seemed kind of silly not to do something good with all that space.”

A year later, Munger is being recognized for his commitment.

On Monday, Gov. Chafee was in town to congratulate Munger on the finished product. The governor was joined by environmental leaders to unveil the largest renewable-energy marine facility in the entire state. The sun will power 100 percent of the 10-acre boatyard.

“We’re proud you’re here in Rhode Island,” said Gov. Chafee.

The system started generating power at the beginning of this month. Since then, it had produced enough energy to power the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center from now until the 2015 Super Bowl. In just three short weeks, the power generated is the equivalent to charging 3 million iPhones or 650 Nissan Leafs.

Over the next quarter century, the solar array at the Taylor Point facility will save nearly 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas, or roughly 7.4 million automobile miles and 210,000 gallons of gasoline.

Conanicut Marine’s commitment is another example of environmentalism in Jamestown. Step by step, the community is getting greener. From the energyefficient lights at the schools, to the solar array at the community farm, to the signs in the Town Hall bathrooms urging users to turn the lights off as they exit, to the grassroots campaign to ban plastic bags, this community is full of examples why a piecemeal approach is a perfectly fine way to try and save the Earth.

— Tim Riel

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