Looking forward to switch being turned on
HOW wonderful that Mt Stirling has received a grant to improve visitor facilities.
Visitor numbers to Mt Stirling have always been reliably good in both summer and winter; adding to the tourism dollars spent in Mansfield.
However, it is very disappointing that the hard work and ingenuity of past environmental and electrical engineering achievements on Mt Stirling have not been acknowledged in the resort press releases concerning “Australia’s first Alpine Hub powered by renewable energy”.
Let’s get the facts straight please.
In 1998 Stirling Experience contracted electrical engineer Michael McQueen to install a hydroelectricity plant utilising the fall of water over the 60 metre cascade waterfall on Falls Creek below Telephone Box Junction.
The project was fully authorised as a pilot project by the then Mt Buller Resort chief executive officer Sandie Jeffcoat and was totally funded and constructed by Stirling Experience and was, and forever will be, “Australia’s first Alpine Hub powered by renewable energy”.
This system powered the bistro, ski hire and RMB office, dumping excess energy into building heaters at night and supplying all power requirements during the day.
The hydro system powered Mt Stirling 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for seven years until it was unfortunately destroyed by the 2006 Alpine fires.
Stirling Experience recognised the value of having this scheme in the natural landscape of Mt Stirling but was thwarted in their attempts to re-install the hydro generator following the fires by the bureaucratic regulations and costs imposed, forcing a return to the diesel generator.
After the past few years of talking about green mountains it is very pleasing to see that something will be done about a return to renewable energy power generation following the success of the original privately funded pilot scheme; and facts aside, Stirling Experience welcomes the mountain’s initiative and looks forward to the hydro light switch being turned back on again.
Craig Jones, Stirling Experience