Walkabout Creek Hotel, made famous by the 1986 movie Crocodile Dundee has gone solar.
The move came as a result of the McKinlay Shire Council to help local businesses reduce their power bills by providing loans to fund the cost of installing solar panels.
McKinlay is located 1595km north west of Brisbane and 228km south east of Mount Isa, and has a population of 417.
McKinlay Shire Mayor Belinda Murphy says local businesses had identified freight and power costs as having the biggest impact on their bottom line.
“We also went solar for council buildings and have a projected power cost saving of $60,000 per year on an annual energy bill of $340,000 – a saving of nearly 20 per cent,” she said.
Walkabout Creek Hotel proprietor Frank Wust said the temperature in McKinlay reaches 46 degrees Celsius in the summer.
“All our 18 rooms must be air-conditioned and to provide a meal service we need a large cold room and walk-in freezer,” Mr Wust said.
“This all adds up to a $1200 a month power bill.”
The solar installation at the Walkabout Creek Hotel comprises of twenty four Trina Solar 260w panels with a Fronious IG Plus inverter installed on the hotel beer garden roof, producing an estimated annual yield of 11,250kWh. This is calculated to save the business $3,168 per year on last year’s energy prices as annual consumption is put at 18,248kWh. This could be more, but the maximum export allowed by Ergon Energy is 5kva.