By Gwen O’Toole
Green-minded planners take note: Alice Springs will soon be home to the country’s largest building-mounted solar panel system following approval of a $3 million photovoltaic installation at the Crowne Plaza Alice Springs.
The Crowne Plaza Alice Springs
The project will see 13 solar arrays mounted on the roof of the hotel and generating over 530,000 kWh per year — enough to power more than 60 family homes. It will also provide between 40 and 80 percent of the hotel’s power requirements depending on the time of year, reducing its carbon footprint by 420 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Other recommendations made during an eco-audit that will be implemented by Crowne Plaza Alice Springs include the installation of solar hot water, decommissioning of steam boilers and replacement of inefficient lights and fittings throughout the hotel.
Lyndon Frearson, senior project manager with CAT Projects, the organisation managing the project, said the benefits of Crowne Plaza Alice Springs’ massive solar array installation will extend well beyond the tourism industry.
The project will also provide local electrical apprentices and professionals with an opportunity to gain experience on grid-connected PV systems, enhancing their ability to gain further work within the renewable industry in Central Australia.