1.8MW of solar panels have been installed at the award-winning Ayers Rock Resort, with the assistance of financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
The CEFC provided $4.7 million in finance to Australian renewable energy developer Epuron to construct the project. Epuron also recently completed an expansion of Uterne solar power station at Alice Springs; again with the assistance of CEFC financing.
The Ayers Rock Resort solar installation is expected to generate up to 30 per cent of the resort’s daytime electricity use and around 15 per cent of its annual overall energy use.
“It’s encouraging to see this iconic globally-recognised resort, the gateway to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, take a renewable energy leadership role by making the most of central Australia’s solar potential to generate energy and remaining sensitive to the environment,” said CEFC CEO Oliver Yates.
“The CEFC’s finance for the Ayers Rock Resort solar project is encouraging additional private sector investment in renewable energy and helping to build Australia’s technical experience in remote-area solar installation and maintenance.”
Electricity generated by the solar energy installation will be sold to the resort’s owners, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, under a long-term power purchase agreement. The CEFC states Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has also received $450,000 from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to analyse and share insights gained from the project.
Ayers Rock Resort consists of several hotels (one 5-star), apartments, a camping ground and various other facilities. The resort is situated 20km from Uluru and 53km from Kata Tjuta.
Epuron has been developing wind and solar power in Australia since 2003. Among its other projects are the Cullerin Range, Gullen Range and Silverton wind farms.
The CEFC has committed over $1.4 billion in finance to investments in clean energy projects valued at over $3.5 billion since it was created – and still has plenty of funding for other worthy projects in regional Australia.
“The CEFC has more than $300 million in finance available for projects that can bring cheaper energy, local industry and jobs, strengthened local energy supplies and more energy productive work practices,” Mr Yates said last month.
“Solar PV and batteries, more efficient irrigation systems, better air conditioning, more efficient lighting, more energy efficient vehicles and purpose built equipment are just some of the technologies that can be financed through CEFC funds.”