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Iconic national park goes off the grid

A major tourist attraction in the State’s south east has gone off grid, thanks to the successful installation of a Stand-alone Power System (SPS) which is generating electricity using renewable energy.

Horizon Power recently installed the system at the iconic Fitzgerald River National Park near Hopetoun, completely removing the park from the overhead electricity network.

An SPS generates and stores its own electricity through solar panels and a battery, and has a back-up diesel generator. This combination of technology allows the SPS to supply continuous power 24 hours a day, regardless of the weather.

The new Fitzgerald River National Park SPS is powering the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ (DBCA, formerly Department of Parks and Wildlife) ranger station, office and workshop complex, allowing for the removal of imposing powerlines, which were stretched across the picturesque Culham Inlet within the park.

In addition to generating an environmentally friendly energy source and improving aesthetics, the SPS reduces the park’s bushfire risk by removing the need for traditional ‘poles and wires’ infrastructure.

DBCA Albany District Manager Peter Hartley said the SPS was an ideal solution for the national park. “This system has eliminated the need for over four kilometres of powerlines, some of which crossed over the Culham Inlet in the park,” Mr Hartley said.

“This park is a major tourist attraction and the removal of powerlines and poles adds substantially to the natural beauty of this spectacular location.”

Horizon Power Managing Director Frank Tudor said the technology was helping the organisation be at the forefront of renewable energy alternatives.

”We are actively adopting new solutions to provide customers with more choice and control, and are working with the DBCA to expand the number of SPS in the region,” Mr Tudor said.

Five SPS have been operating successfully for more than a year in the Esperance area including a system at Cape Le Grand National Park which powers facilities at the park entrance, including two rangers' houses, workshops and the park office.

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