Voyages Ayers Rock Resort will soon be powered by the desert sun, with enough solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed to meet a third of the peak power needs at the site.

The project will integrate 1.8 MW of renewable energy into the existing power system via five ground and roof mounted solar PV systems ranging from 150 kW to 1 MW. It will supply about 30 per cent of peak daytime demand for the resort or approximately 15 per cent of its average annual energy demand.

ARENA is providing $450,000 funding for Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia to analyse and share the learning and expertise gained from the $6.5 million project with industry.

ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said the project would accelerate learning and know-how across a number of sectors, including the energy and tourism sectors, and be of benefit to the nation’s remote communities.

“ARENA’s two goals are to reduce the cost and increase the use of renewable energy,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“We have always believed that some of the Australians who will benefit most from these goals being achieved are those people living and working in remote areas where energy supply can be challenging.

“This project is a testament to the increasing competitiveness of solar PV in remote Australia and is well positioned to help make future renewable energy projects cheaper and easier to get off the ground.

“Through this project, Voyages – and the broader tourism industry – will gain valuable insight into the technical and financial viability of medium penetration solar PV into existing isolated mini-grids.”

The tender to install the system was awarded to Epuron and its construction partner CPS National.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has committed $4.7 million in finance towards the project.

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