A smaller carbon footprint at Eurardy Reserve

Friday 20 June, 2008

National Operations Officer Glen Norris waxes lyrical about Eurardy’s new remote area power supply.

Arrays of photovoltaic cells track the sun and harness solar power. Photo Paul and Leanne Hales.

Arrays of photovoltaic cells track the sun and harness solar power. Photo Paul and Leanne Hales.

Since we purchased Eurardy Station in June 2005, Bush Heritage has achieved many positive ecological outcomes in this fascinating and diverse environment.

Eurardy is located about one and a half hours’ drive north of Geraldton on the North-West Coastal Highway in Western Australia and adjoins the Kalbarri National Park.

It's been extremely rewarding to see our conservation goals progressing in this fragile landscape, from increased malleefowl sightings and new additions to our flora and fauna species lists, to the recovery of priority vegetation communities following the removal of feral herbivores.

As we work to achieve our goals and grow as an organisation, it's imperative that we do so with minimal environmental impact, playing our part as responsible global citizens.

Cables connecting the solar panels to the battery bank are laid in trenches. Photo Paul and Leanne Hales.

Cables connecting the solar panels to the battery bank are laid in trenches. Photo Paul and Leanne Hales.

With this responsibility comes the need to implement policies and strategies to minimise our environmental footprint, particularly in an age of climate variability.

In light of this, and as one example of how we're reducing our environmental impact, it's with great pride that Bush Heritage announces the installation of a 15 kva solar photovoltaic remote area power supply (RAPS) at Eurardy Reserve.

The RAPS system will provide clean, renewable energy for our conservation activities on the reserve.

‘We’ve had a lot of great things to celebrate over the past couple of years at Eurardy,’ say reserve managers Paul and Leanne Hales, ‘but from an operational perspective, none of them can quite compare to the installation of clean, reliable and sustainable power.’

The advantages of renewable energy sources like sunlight are numerous. Not only can we now produce emission-free electricity, but we can do it silently and much more cost-effectively.

Reserve managers Paul and Leanne Hales inspect the new generator that provides back-up in times of high power usage.

Reserve managers Paul and Leanne Hales inspect the new generator that provides back-up in times of high power usage.

By no longer being wholly dependent on diesel generators, we'll now significantly reduce our expenditure and reliance on fossil-based fuels such as diesel. This will mean more funds being directed to on-the-ground conservation activities.

In addition, this investment supports the solar photovoltaic industry and helps Australia’s transition to a clean, renewable energy future.

From the moment the decision was made in 2006 to purchase a solarpowered RAPS system at Eurardy, our dedicated staff, supporters and volunteers have worked hard to make the plan a reality.

Given the significant costs involved in the purchase, we'd like to acknowledge The Nature Conservancy for their valued financial contribution. Furthermore, this project, and others like it, wouldn't be possible without the rebate provided through the Remote Area Power Supply Program, which is supported by the Australian Government and administered in Western Australia by the Sustainable Energy Development Office.

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