Look­ing for­ward to switch be­ing turned on

Mt Buller News - - NEWS -

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

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