A company in Newport, Rhode Island has established an “aquatic microgrid platform” that provides free electrical power to boaters. PowerDocks LLC has partnered with the city of Newport and set up a floating platform called BlueIsles. It stores electricity via solar panels and then delivers power to boaters who want to dock and hook up their shore power. The charging station can also be used for recharging the batteries of boats with electric motors.

The floating dock is about 16ft x 20ft, according to managing partner Anthony Baro. “Its solar panels will provide free solar-generated electrical power and free WiFi to vessels docked within 300ft of the floating platform,” says Baro. “Boaters visiting Newport Harbor will be the first ever to access renewable power while docked at a mooring.”

Baro says BlueIsles can be used for wirelessly charging oceanographic vessels as well as recreational boats that want to hook up their shore power chords for free electricity. The current platform is part of a demonstration platform for the US naval base nearby, but Baro says the company has platforms that are “scalable” to different needs. He said the company will be launching other new products in the near future.