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Pathway to sustainability: The Lady Elliot Island hybrid solar power station


Gash, P and Carter, S and Miller, W, Pathway to sustainability: The Lady Elliot Island hybrid solar power station, Proceedings of Sustainable Engineering Society (SENG) 2013 conference, 18-20 September 2013, Barton, ACT, pp. 23-31. ISBN 9781922107107 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2013 Engineers Australia


The Lady Elliot Island eco-resort, on the Great Barrier Reef, operates with a strong sustainability ethic, and has broken away from its reliance on diesel generators, an initiative which has ongoing and substantial economic benefit. The first step was an energy audit that led to a 35% reduction in energy usage, to an average of 575 kWh per day. The eco-resort then commissioned a hybrid solar power station, in 2008, with energy storage in battery banks. Solar power is currently (2013) providing about 160 kWh of energy per day, and the eco-resort’s diesel fuel usage has decreased from 550 to 100 litres per day, enabling the power station to pay for itself in 3 years. The eco-resort plans to complete its transition to renewable energy by 2015, by installing additional solar panels, and a 10-15 kW wind turbine.

This paper starts by discussing why the eco-resort chose a hybrid solar power station to transition to renewable energy, and the barriers to change. It then describes the power station, upgrades through to 2013, the power control system, the problems that were solved to realise the potential of a facility operating in a harsh and remote environment, and its performance. The paper concludes by outlining other eco-resort sustainability practices, including education and knowledge-sharing initiatives, and monitoring the island’s environmental and ecological condition.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:Lady Elliot Island, hybrid solar power station, Great Barrier Reef, barriers to change
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Environmental engineering
Research Field:Environmental engineering not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Renewable energy
Objective Field:Solar-photovoltaic energy
UTAS Author:Carter, S (Dr Steven Carter)
ID Code:88775
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2014-02-14
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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