Resort boosts solar power to protect reef

Peter Gash set new benchmarks for sustainable tourism in the Great Barrier Reef when he harnessed solar power to reduce his Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort’s diesel consumption by 70%.

Now he is about to boost the resort’s solar-generation capacity and slash diesel consumption even further.
“The hybrid solar power system we installed in 2008 has a 20kW capacity and produces around 120kW hours of renewable energy per day,” Mr Gash said. “We’ve just begun installing another 96 solar panels onto existing buildings at the resort so we can effectively double our renewable power capacity.”
Mr Gash said the project would cut the 150-bed resort’s diesel consumption to 100 litres a day by the end of this year, compared to 550 litres a day when diesel generators powered the resort.
Mr Gash took over the lease of Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, the southernmost reef island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, in 2005. His involvement with GBRMPA’s Tourism Climate Change Action Group prompted him to conduct a major energy audit in 2007. That kicked off a series of sweeping changes to make the resort carbon neutral.

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