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CEFC announces funding for Yulara Solar

Australia’s red centre is continuing its growth as the solar centre with the installation of 1.8MW of Solar PV at the award-winning Ayers Rock Resort.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) CEO Oliver Yates said the CEFC had committed $4.7 million in finance to Australian renewable energy company Epuron to construct the project across five Voyages resort sites.   

“It’s encouraging to see this iconic globally-recognised resort, the gateway to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, take a renewable energy leadership role by making the most of central Australia’s solar potential to generate energy and remaining sensitive to the environment,” Mr Yates said.

“The CEFC’s finance for the Ayers Rock Resort solar project is encouraging additional private sector investment in renewable energy and helping to build Australia’s technical experience in remote-area solar installation and maintenance.”

Epuron will provide the solar energy supply under a long-term agreement with the resort’s owners, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, which is wholly owned by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), a corporate Commonwealth entity.

The solar at Ayers Rock Resort is expected to generate power to cover up to 30 per cent of the resort’s daytime use, or about 15 per cent of its annual overall energy use and reduce the need for the use of trucked-in fuel. Epuron selected CPS National as its engineer, procure and construct contractor.  Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia received $450,000 from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to analyse and share the learning and expertise gained from the project with industry.

Voyages Chief Executive Officer Andrew Williams said: “Using solar to help power our resort demonstrates our commitment to sustainable environmental tourism practices.”

The Ayers Rock Resort project is part of the CEFC’s growing program of solar installation in remote areas and provides a scalable and replicable model for future solar rollouts.

The CEFC has previously financed an expansion to Epuron's Uterne Power Station at Alice Springs to 4.1MW, making it Australia’s largest completed solar farm using tracking technology and which feeds solar power into the Alice Springs grid sufficient to meet the needs of about 1,100 homes.