The indigenous-owned tourist resorts at the iconic Uluru (Ayers Rock) attraction in the heart of Australia’s red centre is to be powered by solar PV after a financing arrangement with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The CEFC is providing $4.7 million towards the cost of 1.8MW of solar PV to be built by Epuron across five installations at the Ayers Rock Resort. It is expected to provide up to 30 per cent of daytime use and 15 per cent of overall use across the year. It will reduce the need for trucked in diesel fuel.
Ayers Rock Resort – gateway to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – includes the Sails in the Desert Hotel, the Desert Gardens Hotel, the Emu Walk Apartments, the Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge and the Ayers Rock Campground.
Epuron will provide the solar energy supply under a long-term agreement with the resort’s owners, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, which is wholly owned by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC).
CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said the project would allow the resort to make the most of central Australia’s solar potential, and the finance would encourage additional private sector investment and technical experience in remote-area solar installation and maintenance.
He said it would provide a “scalable and replicable model” for future solar rollouts at remote locations.
The CEFC recently provided $13 million finance to Epuron towards the 3.1 MW expansion of its 1MW Uterne solar power station in Alice Springs, which is one of the largest tracking solar power plants in the Southern Hemisphere.
The addition of the Ayer’s Rock Resort solar project increases Epuron’s solar portfolio to 6.9MW of generating capacity, also including three off grid solar projects in the Northern Territory.