SUNNY-SIDE UP: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort has operated consecutively on 100% solar power for the past two weeks.
SUNNY-SIDE UP: Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort has operated consecutively on 100% solar power for the past two weeks.

Eco resort powering sunny-side up

IT’S been about a decade in the making, and the team at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort are nearly 100 per cent solar powered.

The Resort has operated consecutively on solar power for the past two weeks, but managing director Peter Gash said there was still a few more battery banks to put in place before they could be solely solar powered.

He said this was an exciting time for the resort and they were proud of everyone involved in the initiative.

Mr Gash said the they had 650 solar panels and 232 batteries, but they weren’t entirely solar powered because of the desalination system converting sea water to pristine clean freshwater.

He said they had to run a generator for about 2 hours a week — significantly less than when they started.

The desalination process uses about 30 per cent of the resort’s power.

During 2019, they have been supported by the Queensland Government’s ‘Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Fund’ and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation ‘Reef Islands Initiative’.

Mr Gash said they were grateful for the support from both government and non-government organisations and the visitors — whether they are locals or travellers.

“We’re right on the cusp,” of being entirely run by the sun Mr Gash said.

They set a target of being solar powered by December 2020 and it’s “not an unachievable goal” each year they’ve been methodically moving in the right direction.

To the point where they are saving 550 litres of diesel fuel saved daily and 38 tonnes of carbon emissions saved annually.

An additional 88 panels and one further battery bank are scheduled to be installed in the coming months which will be the final step to achieving 100% sustainable solar powered in all weather conditions.

With today’s the climate strike, the resort’s success is a timely reminder to what can be done with renewables.

Mr Gash said he was a believer in hope but that there was no gain without pain, — and “the gain has been well and truly worth it”.

He said you can’t take anything with you when you’re gone, but you can leave the world a little better than when you found it, and that’s what they were hoping to do on Lady Elliot.

Rather than looking to blame anyone for the climate we’re in, he said it’s time to accept our own footprint and do something about it.

For more information about Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort head to www.ladyelliot.com.au/.



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