The Ocean Park solar power project is one of the largest private installations in the state.
Today it was opened by Vince Catania. The Hon Brendon Grylls was scheduled to be at the opening as well, but he was called away to Canberra in light of the federal election result. Unfortunate timing!
The new solar installation can generate enough electricity to power 20 suburban houses. Power from the innovative system is used to pump about 50,000 litres of seawater per hour to maintain the environment of many rare marine creatures at the Park.
The installation includes 216 Sungrid solar modules, which are fitted with solar trackers to ensure they face the sun from sunrise to sunset. As a result, the solar grid can produce 273 kilowatt hours of electricity per day. The power output will also be used to run fridges, freezers and a seawater desalination plant.
The $1.2million solar power installation was privately funded by the owners of Ocean Park and secured with a loan through Keystart Country Housing Authority. Part of the cost is rebated through the Remote Area Power Scheme.
“This new solar array demonstrates the practical application of sustainable energy in a fragile natural environment,” says park manager and co-owner Edmund Fenny.
“We have found this type of system to be the most reliable means of generating power as it uses solar energy to cover the majority of this facility’s power needs.” He said the system is augmented by a back-up diesel generator and wind generator, which is most efficient at night.
Large-capacity deep-cycle batteries store surplus energy collected during the day for night-time