Solar electrician Chris Brayley sets up remote stations to harness the power of the sun.

Story Alice Rose

The eastern sky is still dark as Chris Brayley says goodbye to his wife, Bec, strokes a cheek of their baby daughter, and checks on their two small sleeping sons. Hearing a vehicle coming, he hoists his swag and slips quietly out into the day, knowing it will be his young apprentice, Jabyn McDonald. While Jabyn shoves his swag in the LandCruiser parked beside Chris’s crane truck, Chris walks around both fully loaded vehicles testing tie-downs, mentally reviewing the travel plans of the rest of his crew, and doing one last check of the long list of equipment they’ll need to build an 80kW stand-alone solar system for Ben and Nicole Hayes at Undoolya station at Alice Springs, more than 2000km away.

By 5am they’re gone. “Leaving Bec and the kids for the 2–3 weeks it’ll take to get the job done is tough, and even tougher for Bec, but we go where the work is,” Chris says.

This story excerpt is from Issue #131

Outback Magazine: June/July 2020