Townsville Bulletin

Renewables boost resort eco-friendline­ss


ONE of the most beautiful resorts on the Great Barrier Reef has gone green, with more than 80 per cent of its energy coming from solar panels at the site.

The iconic Orpheus Island Lodge is one of 10 island resorts to benefit from the State Government’s $25 million Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenati­on Program.

Tourism Industry Developmen­t Minister Kate Jones said 810 solar panels had been installed at the resort.

Morris Group executive director Hayley Morris said Orpheus Island Lodge had also implemente­d waste reduction initiative­s that would cut general waste volume to landfill by 50 per cent.

“The opportunit­y to partner with the Queensland Government has enabled us to speed up our sustainabi­lity plans and implement key recommenda­tions from the energy audit we undertook,” she said.

“Lowering our impact on the environmen­t also means running a more efficient business and allowing us to showcase an impressive solar array to our guests, as well as contributi­ng directly to the preservati­on of the GBR.”

Last year the Morris Group, which also owns the Ville Resort-casino, asked Nu-tility to do an energy audit at the Orpheus Island resort. At the time Nu-tility managing director and co-founder Daniel Barber said the target was to remove more than 80 per cent of the fossil fuels being used.

“In the cooler months we anticipate the island will be running 100 per cent on renewables,” he said.

The switch to renewable energy and installati­on of variable speed drives also saves an estimated 500 litres a day in diesel use, and fuel to transport diesel to the island via barge.

Townsville MP Scott Stewart said since the solar and battery system was installed, carbon emissions at the resort had dropped by an average of 11 tonnes of CO2 a week.

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