Hidden Valley Cabins is Australia's 1st solar powered resort. Hidden Valley is not on grid power and any infrastructure in the area has self-generation power. The McLennan’s over the years have tried to develop ideas to decrease their generator use therefore saving on greenhouse gasses but still giving their guests an optimum experience. In 1986 they installed 12 volt battery lighting in the cabins for guests to have lights once the generator was turned off. A battery charger charged these batteries while the generator was running. In 1988 12 volt lighting was installed in the shop and entertainment area. This then progressed to their house in 1997 and they decided to develop a small 12 volt system that would power only a few small appliances such as lighting and television.
Over the next few years the system was developed further to a 3000-watt inverter, 2 x 24 volt battery banks, with invertors for powering larger electrical appliances, 3 x 12 volt battery banks for lighting and 4 x 80 watt solar panels. The generator previously ran for 5 hours per day and our renewable energy system ran for the rest, this system however only allowed us to farm power and was not practical and not giving our guests an optimum experience.
Hidden Valley Cabins has successfully applied through the federally funded, Renewable Remote Power Generation Scheme and has installed a stand alone solar system to run the entire resort 24 hours per day. The system consists of 12 KVA inverter, 90 x 130 watt solar panels delivering 120 volts DC into 60 x 2 volt 1660 amph batteries.
We are also including an interpretive centre for customers to explore the operational aspect of the renewable energy system, timelines on the development of the project and suggested ideas on how the consumer can help with the fight against climate change.
There will be interpretive signage throughout the entire resort so guests can walk through at their leisure learning about the system and piecing together the story and learning key aspects of the system.
Hidden Valley Cabins and Tours are Australia’s 1st carbon neutral accommodation and tour company operative on renewable energy. Hidden Valley Cabins and Tours has completed in-house audits following the guidelines set down by Climate Friendly to reduce all carbon emissions. After reducing all carbon based emissions Hidden Valley Cabins & Tours purchased carbon credits to offset the rest of the operational activities to make Hidden Valley Cabins and Tours the first accommodation and tour business in Australia to be Carbon Neutral.
Significance of Project
The team at Hidden Valley Cabins are committed to reducing green house gases therefore contributing to combating the effects of climate change and changing the consumer perception. This project alone will save 26 000 L of diesel or 78 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions produced by the LPG gas the resort uses for hot water and cooking will be accounted for and we will purchase carbon credits to offset this, therefore the entire resort will be carbon free.