IYRS Student Works on First Autonomous Floating Microgrid Platform


Joel Loveland is entering his second year in the Boatbuilding & Restoration program at IYRS, the second program he has enrolled in. Because of the skill-set he built throughout his time in the Marine Systems program, Joel worked with the team that built an Electric Launch (pictured to the right) in their first year of the Boatbuilding program.

Diversifying his already impressive skill-set, this summer Joel worked with local company PowerDocks, LLC helping to build an autonomous floating microgrid platform that will provide electrical charging solutions through solar energy. Read more about the exciting project below.

First Autonomous Floating Microgrid Platform for Powering and Recharging Electric Marine Propulsion Vessels in Newport Harbor

June 29, 2017
For further information: Anthony Baro, [email protected] or 401-489-2273. 

Newport, RI – Newport Harbor has been the site of many firsts in its long and storied history, and this June it will be the site of another. PowerDocks, LLC a local marine development firm has partnered with the city to launch their Blue Isles™ platform in the harbor waters.   Blue Isles™ is the first aquatic microgrid platform built to power and recharge electric marine propulsion vessels using solar power. Its solar panels will provide free solar generated electrical power and free Wi-Fi to vessels docked within 300 feet of the floating platform. Blue Isles™ will be moored in the public anchorage area north of the Goat Island causeway.

“We are excited to showcase our new product innovation in Newport, the sailing capital of the world. Boaters visiting Newport Harbor will be the first ever to access renewable power while docked at a mooring” states Anthony Baro, Managing Partner at PowerDocks, LLC. “We wanted to provide a solution for those boaters that are environmentally conscious and have embraced electric marine propulsion for their vessels” adds Chris Fagan, Managing Partner at PowerDocks, LLC.

Newport has a strong commitment to renewable energy and building a sustainable infrastructure that will help preserve the environmental quality of its coastal waters. “With the introduction of this aquatic microgrid we are continuing our commitment to embracing new environmentally friendly innovation into our harbor,” said City of Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop. “We will continue to bring the best in innovative ocean related infrastructure to support economic diversification to ensure our harbor continues to prosper.”